By L. Robinson
The increase of self sufficient documentary movie creation is the main radical improvement within the modern chinese language mediascape. This e-book is a sustained exam of chinese language self sustaining documentary on the subject of considered one of its vital ideas: xianchang, or being 'on the scene'.
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Additional resources for Independent Chinese Documentary: From the Studio to the Street
Lü, 2003b, p. 150). The images shot on location thus determined the structure and narrative of the programme, rather than vice versa. In this sense, zhuantipian like The Chinese or Tiananmen emerged as a mixed form, combining aspects of live shooting with the traditional scripted studio style, in much the same way that Bumming in Beijing retained elements of the television documentary, while also expanding the format’s boundaries. When early independent documentary filmmakers such as Wu Wenguang, Duan Jinchuan and Shi Jian describe themselves as being profoundly influenced by overseas documentaries and the work of foreign filmmakers, it is therefore this unscripted, location-based style of documentary filmmaking that they are generally referring too.
Unlike Wu Wenguang, Hu refuses to attribute any symbolic significance to this ending. He states explicitly that ‘It’s not a metaphor. Poetry rejects metaphor; so too does documentary’ (C. Cui, 2007). Whereas Wu embraces the possibility that people across China might identify with being ‘on the road’, Hu deliberately shuts down any attempt to discuss The Man in a similar light. As this comparison suggests, on some level the emergence of private documentary indicates not simply an interest in new subjects or new forms, but also an elevation of the particular and partial over the universal and collective.
224; Leary, 2003). But it also intimates how the distinct stylistic elements of xianchang – issues of time, space, sound, presence and causality – derive their importance from their signifying relationship with the unpredictability integral to shooting on location. Here, then, we have an aesthetic of unscripted spontaneity: a form of documentary representation that, to paraphrase Zhang Zhen (2007, p. 19), is open-ended, improvisational and constantly ‘in process’. Articulated in this manner, xianchang can perhaps be most easily understood in anglophone terms as liveness.