China and Inner Asia
University College London, United Kingdom
The 70’s Biweekly collective’s writing on film has been neglected in discussions about Hong Kong film criticism, which has meant that their focus on the politics of cinema and exploration of how cinema negotiates contradictions in capitalist society is a lost chapter of 1970s Hong Kong film culture. Whether writing about Hong Kong cinema or international cinema, the film criticism in The 70’s Biweekly was often attuned to the radical and political potentialities of cinema, and focused especially on ideological criticism related to pressing issues such as capitalism, imperialism, colonialism, female emancipation and social injustice. As well as critical reviews of individual films and essays on directors and cinematic new waves, there were also Chinese translations of interviews with directors including Costa Gavras, and Chinese translations of film criticism from abroad including the hugely influential article “Cinema/Ideology/Criticism” written by Jean-Louis Commoli and Paul Narboni in the wake of the May 1968 protests, which helped develop a Marxist approach to the critical analysis of cinema. This presentation will explore the critical endeavours related to cinema in the pages of The 70’s Biweekly to reveal and recuperate the radical position of this pocket of oppositional film culture in Hong Kong film history.