Revolution, Realism and World Cinema Symposium at the University of Sydney

17 June 2011

On 21 June speakers at a symposium at the University of Sydney will investigate world cinema through the twin lenses of revolution and realism. The School of Letters, Arts and Media (SLAM) at the University's Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences is co-hosting the event.

In welcoming the event, the Head of School, Professor Annamarie Jagose, said that the double focus on film aesthetics and social transformation fits well with the interdisciplinary Film Studies program in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, which approaches film both as a textual object and a social practice.

"We are delighted to host an event that looks at the mutually informing relationships between film form and social change and also asks us to think about the contested category of 'world cinema' and how films are understood beyond the countries and cultures in which they are made," she said.

The speakers and their subjects are:

Shelly Kraicer, Beijing-based writer, critic, and film curator. This talk The Use and Abuse of Chinese Cinema in the West elaborates on an idea first outlined by Kraicer at an independent film festival in China. It looks at how Western film festivals, distributors, and to a certain extent scholars, use Chinese cinema, particularly the ways westerners (via the film festival system) misuse and misinterpret certain typical kinds of Chinese film. The reason for this, Kraicer argues, is because of a junction of institutional, political, commercial, and ideological reasons.

Professor LĂșcia Nagib, Centenary Chair in World Cinemas, Leeds University. Professor Nagib's paper looks at two political films which address the subject of revolution - a failed revolution in a hypothetical Latin American country and the 1959 Cuban revolution. Professor Nagib looks at how they both revolutionized film form and depict reality even when a world in transformation appears to defy realistic representation.

Professor Stephanie Hemelryk-Donald, Dean of Media and Communication, RMIT. This paper's starting point is the 2010 census results for China which showed that almost 50% of the population is now classified as urban. At the commencement of 1982 the figure was around 20%. Professor Hemelryk-Donald finds that is has been necessary to find a new cinematic language both to validate the new ways of living and to understand them. She finds that while cinema is an imperfect measure of social change, it does allow us to glimpse new value systems as they have emerged over thirty years, and been consolidated through extensive demographic shifts.

This event is presented in collaboration with The World Universities Network, the White Rose Consortium, School of Media and Communication RMIT and the Confucius Institute at the University of Sydney.

Event details:

What: Revolution, Realism and World Cinema Symposium

When: Tuesday 21 June, 2pm

Where: S325 John Woolley Building

Cost: Free

Contact: Verity Leatherdale

Phone: 02 9351 4312 or 0419 278 715

Email: 062a3e013a0105360f141302123e3639160a07092e210b5c5262355724593b16