Into the unknown

By Raymond Zhou ( China Daily ) Updated: 2013-10-30 07:35:18

Into the unknown

Huo Siyan plays a leading role in microfilm Father directed by Xiao Yang and Wang Taili. Photo provided to China Daily

Into the unknown

Microfilms will be coming shortly to a screen near you

All kinds of people and organizations are jumping on the microfilm bandwagon, but few are clear what constitutes a microfilm and whether it brings expected results, reports Raymond Zhou.

When it comes to microfilms, the only thing experts can agree on is that there is little that can be agreed on. Not even the name and the origin.

While the most often English translation is "microfilm", Liu Jun, president of the Beijing Film Academy Library, says it is a misnomer that refers to "microfiche" instead. He adopts the term "microcinema", which he traces back to 1990, first used in San Francisco by Rebecca Barten and David Sherman in their concept of "Total mobile home microcinema". It includes screenings outside the theatrical system, in places like cafes, galleries and other public spaces.

However, that does not gibe well with what many perceive as the key element for microfilms, which is the Internet as its distribution platform. Most people would also exclude the traditional medium of film for recording the video image because they tend to emphasize the low cost and convenience of digital devices as means of production.


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For more coverages by Raymond Zhou, click here

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