Monographs is a series of essays on Asian cinema—in both audiovisual and written forms —commissioned by the Asian Film Archive. After a successful run online and at film festivals, all twenty works will be made available on the AFA website and Vimeo Page from 7 December 2021.
Originally conceived during a time of uncertainty amid the global COVID-19 outbreak, the 2020 edition was the institution’s response to the curtailing of film production activities and AFA’s own theatrical film screenings during an incredibly challenging year. As a means of engaging with the wider film community and continuing our mission to promote Asian cinema, the series hopes to offer an important space for writers and thinkers to discourse upon the moving image within the context of the region. Revisiting these works is a reminder of the persistence of the filmic form amid a shifting social landscape, and celebrates its potential in generating new conversations and imaginative possibilities.
Drawing upon histories and archives, both personal and regional, these works reveal new vistas of inquiry; ruminations that evince the essayists’ personal connections to cinema, made more poignant by the fact that they were created during various states of isolation and solitude. The programme is presented in two thematic groups: Motifs casts a critical gaze upon symbols, systems, and the apparatus of power; Moments deals with the subjective, the ephemeral, and the plasticity of memories. Together, they form a dialectic approach of reading the moving image, and attest to the ability of cinema to bring together the personal and collective, textual and experiential, and past and present.