Filmmaker Christopher Doyle looks to Kickstarter to help fund Hong Kong Trilogy on Occupy Central protests

Christopher Doyle says he doesn't want to make one film every five years; he wants to make five films a year. Photo: K.Y. Cheng

South China Morning Post:

Filmmaking can be democratic and not dictated by tycoons and auteurs, according to Christopher Doyle, who is calling for public support for his latest project, set against the backdrop of the Occupy protests.

The award-winning cinematographer and his team aim to raise US$100,000 on crowdfunding platform Kickstarter to complete Hong Kong Trilogy, a three-part, 90-minute feature about the city, “told by three generations of Hongkongers amid a sociopolitical vibe reflected by the protests also known as the umbrella movement“.

Initially a 30-minute short named Hong Kong 2014: Education for All, the film, directed by Doyle and part of the short film series Beautiful 2014, premiered at the Hong Kong International Film Festival last year. The film was also available on Youku.com on the mainland and had 1.5 million hits.

Doyle later renamed it Preschooled. “So we move on to make a second and a third film,” Doyle said, in a video introducing his project.

Preoccupied will be about young people in their 20s and Preposterous is about those aged in their 50s or above.

Then Occupy Central came along and gave the whole project much more sociopolitical reference,” said the filmmaker, who is from Sydney.

Doyle was spotted filming among the tents erected in Harcourt Road, Admiralty, during the 79-day protests. But he did not respond to inquiries about what he was filming at the time.

On Kickstarter, the project is branded a “democratic approach to film” as funding is scarce for experimental projects, and public support will be key.

As of yesterday, 586 backers had pledged US$63,944 for the project on Kickstarter. There are 25 days to go before the fundraising period is over.

Doyle said he had not been working in Hong Kong for a while and the project brought him back to the place where he made his name as a filmmaker.

The moving images he crafted for Wong Kar-wai‘s many films, including Chungking Express and In The Mood For Love, earned him world recognition, putting him in the big league of global cinema.

But in recent years Doyle has moved from cinema to art galleries, with some of his shorts being featured at Art Basel in Hong Kong last year – and in a recent interview with the Post he said he had turned down offers to film the third, fourth and fifth Harry Potter films.

I don’t want to make one film every five years like Wong Kar-wai. I want to make five films a year,” he said.

He collaborated with young director Jenny Suen on short film Allergic To Art in “response” to the craze for art, inspired by Art Basel.

You have to question the stuff you care about,” Doyle said. “I want to tell the kids, don’t wait for the money, wait for the ideas. Take the ideas and go somewhere with them.”

 

China bans puns in media and ads

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Beyond Chinatown:

 

Last week, China’s State Administration for Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (国家广播电影电视总局 / 國家廣播電影電視總局) announced a policy that bans the use of wordplay in media and ads ostensibly to “popularize and standardize the use of the national common language, a heritage of Chinese traditional culture”.  Since Chinese languages, like Mandarin, have a rich linguistic tradition of wordplay based on homophonic puns that, unlike puns in English, are much more ubiquitous and always seem clever and never groan or eye-roll inducing, the edict at first glance seems to be more ridiculous than SAPPRFT’s ban on time travel in TV shows and movies.   It might not be entirely ill-conceived.

The Wall Street Journal’s China Real Time explains one example specifically cited by the Chinese version of the FCC as an “indiscriminate use” of language:

[T]he phrase “晋善晋美” was used in ads promoting tourism to Shanxi province, widely seen as the cradle of Chinese culture. The slogan — translated as “Shanxi, a land of splendors”–  was a pun on the Chinese saying, “尽善尽美,” which means perfection. The ads swapped out the character “尽” for a homonym, “晋,” a character often used to represent Shanxi.”

 

Shanxi Promotional Video:

 

The slogan was selected in December 2012 by the Shanxi Tourism Bureau after four months of competition and was heavily promoted on CCTV and other media outlets.  In July 2013, it was reported a fourth grade student mistook the tourism slogan for the idiom meaning “perfection”.

The clever phrase was deemed to “rape” the idiom and sullied Chinese culture.   This pun control can be seen as part of the Central Government’s efforts to promote standard Mandarin.

Many are sympathetic to the government’s concern about the irregular and inaccurate use of characters, especially among children, but find it at odds with linguistic appreciation and development.  Yi Ming (亦鸣 / 亦鳴), a contributor to China Art Newspaper (中国艺术报 / 中國藝術報), praises the slogan as a clever use of traditional culture for a commercial purpose and highlights the charm of Chinese characters.

Li Zhiqi (李志起) chairman of marketing group CBCT, linguistic innovation should be encouraged and new idioms created.  An editorial in Xinhua does not believe in a “one size fits all” prohibition.  The author calls for the SAPPRFT to “seriously listen to the reasonable opinions of language scholars and the public” and believes that people need to keep an open mind about language so that it can develop.

The rule naturally echoes efforts by the government to censor online taboo topics, names, and words which Chinese netizens often circumvent by slyly hiding behind puns.  For example, when the government censored the word “harmonious” (和谐 / 和諧, pronounced héxié) online because netizens began using it as a euphemism for censorship (which the government justifies in order to promote a “Socialist Harmonious Society“), “river crab” (河蟹 / 河蟹, pronounced héxiè) was used as a substitute.

Dissident artist Ai Weiwei later visualized the phrase in an installation and invited supporters to feast on river crabs to protest the government’s demolition of his Shanghai studio.

 

 

David Moser, academic director for CET Chinese studies at Beijing Capital Normal University, tells The Guardian, “It could just be a small group of people, or even one person, who are conservative, humorless, priggish and arbitrarily purist, so that everyone has to fall in line…But I wonder if this is not a preemptive move, an excuse to crack down for supposed ‘linguistic purity reasons’ on the cute language people use to crack jokes about the leadership or policies. It sounds too convenient.”

Link

Protestors have taken over the streets of Hong Kong

 

http-::www.businessinsider.com:pro-democracy-protests-july-1-hong-kong-2014-7?utm_source=rocketnews&utm_medium=referral

RocketNews 24:

 

Police say 92,000 pro-democracy protestors have flooded the streets of Hong Kong on the 17th anniversary of the end of colonial rule on the island.

In recent years the day has become less a celebration, and more a day to demonstrate against an increasingly anti-democratic, mainland-leaning Hong Kong government.

The South China Morning Post is covering it live.

Meanwhile, on the mainland, users of Weibo (China’s answer to Twitter) are reporting that images and messages documenting what’s going down in Hong Kong are quickly being deleted.

 

One of my colleagues, William Zheng, Chief editor for SCMPChinese.com, our Chinese news site, confirmed that his Weibo account was suspended for no reason,” South China Morning Post Financial Editor George Chen  told Business Insider.

Before his account was suspended, he posted a series of Hong Kong protest related articles and photos. Many Weibo users on the mainland said they had no idea of what was happening in Hong Kong today, but they can tell something strange is going on from Weibo because suddenly you see quite a number of popular Hong Kong Weibo users, including some celebrities, suddenly stopped updating. Many think it’s because they’ve been forbidden from posting.”

 

Sina, the company that owns Weibo, is listed on the Nasdaq here in the United States.

 

Demonstrations like this one aren’t necessarily new, but this year they are bigger — last year police say 66,000 people protested while organizers said the figure was more like 430,000.

This year’s protestors are also a direct challenge to an increasingly power-hungry Beijing. Last month, officials on the mainland wrote a white paper saying that Hong Kong’s political autonomy isn’t an “inherent power.“

That prompted Occupy Central, a pro-democracy group, to hold a referendum Monday on whether or not Beijing should be allowed to vet Hong Kong political candidates in the island’s 2017 election.

800,000 people showed up and voted no.

Mainland authority currently has no direct power to stop public protests in Hong Kong but they can influence the Hong Kong government in many aspects,” said Chen.

It sounds like most people think many is far too many.

 

Check out this link:

Protestors have taken over the streets of Hong Kong

Link

Face masks on Peking University statues protest Beijing smog

 

Statues in Peking University wear masks for heavy smog

Images of statues of some Chinese intellectuals in Peking University wearing masks have been wildly circulated online. This idea was figured out by some students from Peking University, as a “silent” protest against heavy smog.

From Sina Weibo:

@头条新闻: Beijing Heavy Smog; Peking University Statues “Wear” Face Masks — Since February 20, the national meteorological center has for six days straight issued smog alert, and Beijing has already spent many days in the grey smog. With continuous smog in the “rain” season, pedestrians on the road are about to be overwhelmed with sorrow. With such pollution, even the statues an sculptures in Peking University “cannot take it anymore”, one after another donning face masks. Pictures: http://t.cn/8Fm7koR

 

From QQ & NetEase :

Beijing Severe Smog; Face Masks Put on Statues Throughout Peking University

[February] 24, Beijing, the fourth day of heavy smog besieging [the city], it is no longer news that pedestrians and even pet dogs are wearing face masks. To their surprise, on the Peking University campus, people discovered statues of Cai Yuanpei, Li Dazhao, Miguel de Cervantes and other scholars of the past with masks also put on them.

Beijing severe smog, face masks placed on statues and busts in Peking University.

Statues in Peking University wear masks for heavy smog

 Li Dazhao’s statue.

Statues in Peking University wear masks for heavy smog

Cai Yuanpei’s statue.

Statues in Peking University wear masks for heavy smog

Cervantes’s statue.

Statues in Peking University wear masks for heavy smog

Statue of distinguished Chinese contemporary economist Chen Daisun.

Check out this link:

Face masks on Peking University statues protest Beijing smog