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Hong Kong ScreenscapesFrom the New Wave to the Digital Frontier$
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Esther M. K. Cheung, Gina Marchetti, and See-Kam Tan

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9789888028566

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888028566.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM HONG KONG SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.hongkong.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Hong Kong University Press, 2022. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HKSO for personal use.date: 20 May 2022

Hong Kong Cinema and the Film Essay:

Hong Kong Cinema and the Film Essay:

A Matter of Perception

(p.175) 12 Hong Kong Cinema and the Film Essay:
Hong Kong Screenscapes

Mike Ingham

Hong Kong University Press

The cinematic essay, even in the guise of documentary, is now a flourishing and popular form, and one that is no longer viewed as purely experimental or avant-garde. Indeed, the waves of international public concern about climate change triggered by Al Gore's essayistic argument in An Inconvenient Truth were palpable. This low-budget “thesis” film caught the popular mood and contributed significantly to public debate in many countries. Sicko and Capitalism—A Love Story exemplify the kind of impact the cinematic essay form is capable of producing. All of these examples either produce or develop existing sites of social contestation and pursue a keenly argued thesis through the unique resources of film. This chapter assesses the extent to which Hong Kong's New Wave cinema from the 1980s onwards can be said to have essayed this hybrid and very contemporary cinematic form, and whether such explorations in form are indeed recognized in Hong Kong cinema discourse.

Keywords:   cinematic essay, documentary, avant-garde, An Inconvenient Truth, thesis film, Sicko, Capitalism, Hong Kong, New Wave cinema

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