Chinese Caribbean Cinema and the Logic of Reeling

Film and Screen Studies, School of Media, Film and Journalism and Asian Cultural and Media Studies Research Cluster, Monash Asia Institute present …

Sean Metzger.
Associate Professor Sean Metzger.

A public seminar with Associate Professor Sean Metzger, Chinese Caribbean Cinema and the Logic of Reeling.

Where: Theatrette B.5.37, Monash Media Lab, Level 5, Building B, Caulfield campus, Monash University on July 1 from 11am to 12.30pm.

This talk examines documentary films featuring Chinese Caribbean connections in regard to which  Associate Professor Metzger elaborates the logic of reeling; this word conjures the cinematic apparatus even as the verb “to reel” suggests both fishing for something (or, more generally, winding something) and staggering as a result of some sort of stimuli.

The visible evidence of the Chinese in the Atlantic highlighted by the documentary genre also raises questions about the affective responses such materials engender.

Associate Professor Metzger explores a wide range of documentaries that visualize particular attachments to places.

His discussion includes films that center on Cuba (work by Rigoberto Lopez), Trinidad (works by Richard Fung and Natalie Wei), Guyana and Martinique (work by Jil Servant), and Jamaica (work by Jeanette Kong) in order to think through the articulation of island and regional imaginaries that inscribe, contest, or otherwise complicate Chinese flows of capital and people.

Ultimately, Associate Professor Metzger is interested in probing an emergent Chinese Atlantic seascape (that is a constellation of images and performative strategies that might collectively begin to figure a Chinese Atlantic aesthetic and epistemology).

He investigates both the lateral connections among the places and populations depicted in the film as well as the cinematic expression of particular localities. In other words, I interrogate Caribbean image-making both “on-location” and in terms of larger discourses of globalization.

Enquiries to: Olivia Khoo

Sean Metzger is an Associate Professor in the UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television. He is the author of Chinese Looks: Fashion, Performance, Race (Indiana U Press, 2014).

His co-edited volumes include: Embodying Asian/American Sexualities (Lexington, 2009); Futures of Chinese Cinema: Technologies and Temporalities in Chinese Screen Cultures (Intellect, 2009); and Awkward Stages: Plays about Growing Up Gay (Cambria, 2015).

He has also co-edited special issues of Cultural Dynamics (2009) and Third Text (2014).