Saturday, March 31, 2012

Books on Asian Film and Cinema

This is a selection of books we stock on Asian film and cinema:

Glimpses of Freedom: Independent Cinema in Southeast Asia edited by May Adadol Ingawanij and Benjamin Mckay. Since the late 1990s, a vivid new sphere of cinematic practice in Southeast Asia has emerged and been identified as independent. What exactly does this term mean in relation to the way films and videos are made, and the way they look? How do issues of festival circulation, piracy, technology, state and institutional power, and spectatorship apply to practices of independent cinema throughout the diverse region? The authors who speak in this volume - contemporary filmmakers, critics, curators, festival organizers - answer these questions. They describe and analyze the emerging field of Southeast Asian cinema, which they know firsthand and have helped create and foster. Glimpses of Freedom is the outcome of a project collaboratively conceived by a new generation of scholars of cinema in Southeast Asia, inspired by the growing domestic and international visibility of notable films and videos from the region. Contributors include internationally esteemed independent filmmakers, critics, and curators based in Southeast Asia, such as Hassan Abd Muthalib, Alexis A. Tioseco, Chris Chong Chan Fui, and John Torres. International scholars such as Benedict Anderson, Benjamin McKay, May Adadol Ingawanij, and Gaik Cheng Khoo contextualize and theorize Southeast Asia's "independent film cultures." The interaction between practitioners and critics in this volume illuminates a contemporary artistic field, clarifying its particular character and its vital contributions to cinema worldwide.

Southeast Asian Independent Cinema edited by Tilman Baumgartel. The rise of independent cinema in Southeast Asia, following the emergence of a new generation of filmmakers in this region, is among the most significant recent developments in global cinema. The advent of affordable and easy access to digital technology has empowered startling new voices from a part of the world rarely heard or seen in international film circles. The appearance of fresh, sharply alternative, and often very personal voices has had a tremendous impact on local film production. This book documents these developments as a genuine outcome of the democratization and liberalization of film production. Contributions from respected scholars, interviews with filmmakers, personal accounts and primary sources by important directors and screenwriters collectively provide readers with a lively account of dynamic film developments in Southeast Asia. Interviewees include Lav Diaz, Amir Muhammad, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Eric Khoo, Garin Nugroho, Nia Dinata and others.

Chinese Connections: Critical Perspectives on Film, Identity, And Diaspora edited by Tan See-Kam; Peter X Feng and Gina Marchetti. Chinese Connections is a valuable new anthology that provides a prismatic look at the cross-fertilisation between Chinese film and global popular culture. Leading film scholars consider the influence of world cinema on China-related and Chinese-related cinema over the last five decades. Highlighting the neglected connections between Chinese films and American and European cinema, the editors and contributors examine popular works such as Ang Lee's The Hulk and Olivier Assayas' Irma Vep to show the nexus of international film production and how national, political, social and sexual identities are represented in the Chinese diaspora. With talent flowing back and forth between East and West, Chinese Connections explores how issues of immigration, class, race and economic displacement are viewed on a global level, ultimately providing a greater understanding of the impact of Chinese filmmaking at home and abroad.

Reorienting Global Communication: Indian and Chinese Media Beyond Borders edited by Michael Curtin, Michael and Hemant Shah. Emphasising the global nature of Indian and Chinese films, television and digital media, this book provides a diverse mix of alternative perspectives that collectively shift the discussion of media globalisation away from Hollywood and New York. Fourteen individually referenced essays cover topics such as the influence of Bollywood productions, the rise of made-in-China blockbusters, the development of pan-Asian cinema, and migrants' use of the Internet to maintain connections with their homelands. Indexed.

The South Korean Film Renaissance: Local Hitmakers, Global Provocateurs by Choi Jinhee. For the past decade, the Korean film industry has enjoyed a renaissance. With innovative storytelling and visceral effects, Korean films not only have been commercially viable in the domestic and regional markets but also have appealed to cinephiles everywhere on the international festival circuit. This book provides both an industrial and an aesthetic account of how the Korean film industry managed to turn an economic crisis - triggered in part by globalising processes in the world film industry - into a fiscal and cultural boom. Jinhee Choi examines the ways in which Korean film production companies, backed by affluent corporations and venture capitalists, concocted a variety of winning production trends. Through close analyses of key films, Choi demonstrates how contemporary Korean cinema portrays issues immediate to its own Korean audiences while incorporating the transnational aesthetics of Hollywood and other national cinemas such as Hong Kong and Japan. Appendices include data on box office rankings, numbers of films produced and released, market shares, and film festival showings.

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