This presentation is inspired by a series of screenings and discussions of contemporary Hong Kong independent cinema that took place in online in 2021. It is also a redevelopment of my 2019 monograph Extraterritoriality: Locating Hong Kong Cinema and Media by: (1) relocating the cinema in the larger media ecology and the mode of digital existence (Hui Yuk) today and (2) critically engaging in the most recent independent films from Hong Kong.
In Extraterritoriality, I maintain Jürgen Habermas’s understanding of a public sphere in my conceptualization of Hong Kong cinema and media up until 2014. A public sphere is best regarded as a democratic network of discourses where contesting private opinions can be negotiated between individuals. But what if a public sphere has never existed in the first place and how have these individuals been (trans)individuated? In this talk, I propose a variation of this term: extratemporality. I argue that the current media ecology is based on a specific mode of digital existence (that is, a state of being or process of interbecoming). Such existence operates on microperceptual (between intuition and perception) and microtemporal (between the extinction and initiation of each point-instant) engagements that actively rewrite a layout of sociopolitical relationalities. Independent cinema, as a praxis that carries the traits of a prior mode of existence (one can say cinema existence), offers an embodied and self-reflective experience that perceptualizes the microperceptual and temporalizes the microtemporal.
About the Speaker:
Victor Fan is Reader in Film and Media Philosophy, King’s College London and Film Consultant of the Chinese Visual Festival. He is the author of Cinema Approaching Reality: Locating Chinese Film Theory (University of Minnesota Press, 2015) and Extraterritoriality: Locating Hong Kong Cinema and Media (Edinburg University Press, 2019). His forthcoming book, Cinema Illuminating Reality: Media Philosophy through Buddhism, will be published in 2022 by University of Minnesota Press. His articles appeared in journals including Camera Obscura, Journal of Chinese Cinemas, Screen, and Film History.