The Poseidon Project: A Review of a Locally Produced Indie Doc

Last night I attended a screening of an independent documentary film.  Held at the Apartment, a bar-restaurant on Yongfu Road in Shanghai, the event was organized by the Royal Asiatic Society's Shanghai branch.  The film is called The Poseidon Project.  It tells the story of a British submarine that sank off the coast of Shandong Province near the town of Weihaiwei in 1931, and the efforts of an American journalist and scuba diver based in Beijing named Stephen Schwankert to learn about the fate of the submarine and its occupants.  The locally based British filmmaking team of Arthur and Luther Jones produced and directed the film.  The film is 82 minutes long.

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Some Random Notes on Filmmaking, Art, Music, and Identity

I just watched a great film on that very subject, the Banksy documentary "Exit Through the Gift Shop" about the underground filmmaker Thierry Guetta (if you can call him that--film collector is more accurate) who turned his obsession for filming street artists into a career as a "street artist."  I wonder if people who film documentaries about artists aren't themselves aspiring to be the artist in the film.  Of course we can all agree that Jia Zhangke is already an accomplished "artist," in that the films he makes have an artistic quality to them. 

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Sparrow Village: A Film about China's Miao Minority People

Two days ago for the NYU program in Shanghai we watched a film about a Miao village in Guizhou, directed by Christine Choy, an award-winning documentary filmmaker who teaches at NYU and is currently teaching for our program.  The film, called "Sparrow Village," focuses on the lives of young girls in a mountainous Miao village who make a three-hour trek every week to the nearest school to be educated. 

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Nile Perch and Blue Jeans: Videographing inequalities in globalized labor in China and Africa

Anybody concerned with globalization and the inequalities it produces ought to be aware of where the clothing and food he or she consumes on a daily basis comes from and who made it.  Yet when it comes to the labor that goes into producing our consumables in the modern industrial world, as Karl Marx understood so well, we are too often in the dark.  Enter two filmographers who have managed to shed some light on the globalizing forces of labor and production.

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