Session Abstract: This panel explores over a century of film created from the point of view of regional and global interactions. Film studies tends to focus on national film industries, in which international connections and interactions are often marginalized. This panel emphasizes cinematic collaborations and networks across national borders, both within Asia and globally, from the beginning of the twentieth century to the present. From the shared transnational circuits of revolutionaries and filmmakers in Ying Qian’s paper on Chinese documentaries before and during the Republican revolution, to complex intersections of wartime cinemas between China, America, Hong Kong and Japan, to a currently emerging Asian transnational “cinematrix” evinced in the works of Zhang Lu, an ethnically Korean Chinese filmmaker who relocated to Korea (Ma Ran’s paper), each presentation features pioneers who interrogate and occupy multiple overlapping identities. Yiman Wang’s paper concerns Anna May Wong’s media-making in 1936 China and 1957 America as a method of negotiating different modes of nationalisms from pre-WWII China to the 1950s McCarthyism. Louisa Wei’s paper on pioneering women directors Esther Eng and Wan Hoi Ling situates them in transnational networks, while Yuko Kanno also places Japan’s first female director Sakane Tazuko’s struggle to develop a “girls’ cinema” in an international network of queer women and cinema including Eng. All these papers shed light on how pioneers of film, as technology, projection of the imaginary, and social discourse, engage with race, gender, class and imperialism outside of national historical, industrial and ideological frameworks, as well as within them.
Paper Presenter: Ying Qian – Columbia University
Paper Presenter: Louisa Wei – City University of Hong Kong
Paper Presenter: Yuka Kanno – Doshisha University
Paper Presenter: Wang Yiman – University of California, Santa Cruz
Paper Presenter: Ran Ma – Nagoya University