Fissures in the commercial cinematic space: Screening Taiwanese documentary blockbusters

Hong-Chi Shiau, Lincoln Geraghty
2016 Cogent Arts & Humanities  
This study explores the trajectory of how a new wave of documentary making has incorporated or resisted dominant social forces to create fissures in the commercial cinematic spaces. Two documentary blockbusters The Long Goodbye (2010) and Beyond Taiwan (2013) are examined to explicate how the restructuring of cinematic spaces in Taiwan has facilitated changes in documentary screening culture and spectatorships, leading to the recent documentary renaissance. This result suggests that independent
more » ... ts that independent filmmakers intervene and create the spaces for their documentaries, financially dependent on advance ticket sales and private sponsorship. However, relational distributive venues of documentary film within a larger public sphere are increasingly privatized and commercialized in the age of global neoliberalism. The various and creative methods applied in the exhibition of documentary blockbusters have illuminated the intersection of documentary and mainstream commercial cinema sites and practices, and have spawned associated, commercially oriented articulations. The reception study reveals that the past decade has witnessed Taiwanese audiences anxiously situate their precarious local identity against a myriad of socio-political crises: an aging and shrinking population, environmental pollution, and stagnant economy.
doi:10.1080/23311983.2016.1148656 fatcat:fkwb24fbijagxmvt36uag2vika