Welcome to my new blog about Chinese film and filmmakers. I've been living in Beijing for close to three years now and have become increasingly fascinated by China's independent filmmaking scene. Much like Beijing's vibrant rock music scene, there's an explosion of creativity taking place in China's screen culture, mostly without any kind of institutional support, and often in spite of various obstacles put in the way of filmmakers and those screening their work by the authorities. So while the official, state-sanctioned industry pumps out endless historical epics, a small but dedicated group of Chinese filmmakers are grappling with the reality of a vast nation going through incredible changes. Unfortunately these films are rarely seen inside China itself. In cities like Beijing, however, there are a growing number of small screening venues, usually in cafes or galleries, presenting independent films to a dedicated audience.
So my reasons for starting this blog are several. Firstly I wanted somewhere to collect my published writing on Chinese film. Secondly, I wanted a space to publish all the stuff that isn't suitable for magazines or newspapers – interviews, short reviews, musings, and short film-related news items. And lastly, I wanted to help publicise the small but growing screening culture in Beijing, where I live. Places like BC MOMA, CNEX cafe and the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art are providing increasing opportunities for locals to experience the true diversity of China's vibrant filmmaking culture.
I work for theBeijinger.com, where I also publish a regular film column which I'll reproduce here.
So - stay tuned! And get involved through the comments if you have anything to contribute.