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Contribution to Book
Hong Kong Cinema and the Film Essay: A Matter of Perception
Hong Kong Screenscapes: From the New Wave to the Digital Frontier
  • Mike INGHAM, Lingnan University, Hong Kong
Document Type
Book chapter
Publication Date
1-1-2011
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
Citation Information
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