04/May/2015 – Tana DluhosovaAktuality, Veřejná přednáška

Talk in Brno III: Ming-yeh Rawnsley – “Introduction to Taiwanese Documentaries”

Talk in Brno III: Ming-yeh Rawnsley – "Introduction to Taiwanese Documentaries"

Introduction to Taiwanese Documentaries

Dr Ming-Yeh T. Rawnsley

Time: May 18, 2015, 14:10–15:40
Venue: Faculty of Arts (Masaryk University), room B2.13 (Arne Nováka 1, Brno)
Organizers: Oriental Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences and Center for Chinese Studies, Faculty of Arts (Masaryk University)

 

Abstract
Since the 1950s, for three decades the majority of Taiwanese documentaries had been produced by government-funded film studios and national television companies. While it may be overly simplistic to condemn all the officially sanctioned newsreels, educational films and documentaries as propaganda, many of these nonfictional films tend to be conservative and institutionalized in terms of subject matter, content, viewpoint and aesthetic style.

After the mid-1980s, the process of political, social and cultural democratization empowered a gradually increasing number of independent filmmakers to be involved in making documentaries, even though the ones produced directly or indirectly by the state continued to dominate. Some private organizations took advantage of newly available, relatively inexpensive video camcorders to produce records of political events that countered images and narratives disseminated by the mainstream media. Other individuals experimented in documentary-making with cinematic techniques to explore local and social issues. As a result more varieties of documentaries have emerged in Taiwan since the mid-1980s, which led to an explosion of quality documentary films in the 1990s and finally the appearance of commercially viable documentaries in the new millennium.

What inspired the changes of Taiwan documentary in the mid-1980s? Can the documentary films made in Taiwan be explained by western documentary theories? What is the current state of Taiwan documentary? These are the questions this talk aims to address.