Title

Hong Kong Cinema and the Film Essay: A Matter of Perception

Document Type

Book chapter

Source Publication

Hong Kong Screenscapes: From the New Wave to the Digital Frontier

Publication Date

2011

First Page

175

Last Page

194

Publisher

Hong Kong University Press

Keywords

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

Abstract

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.

DOI

10.5790/hongkong/9789888028566.003.0012

Publisher Statement

Hong Kong Screenscapes © 2011 Hong Kong University Press

Access to external full text or publisher's version may require subscription.

Additional Information

ISBN of the source publication: 9789888028566

Full-text Version

Publisher’s Version

Recommended Citation

Ingham, M.. (2011). Hong Kong Cinema and the Film Essay: A Matter of Perception. In E. M. K. Cheung, G. Marchetti, & T. See-Kam (Eds.), Hong Kong Screenscapes: From the New Wave to the Digital Frontier (pp. 175–194). Hong Kong University Press. DOI:10.5790/hongkong/9789888028566.003.0012