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paper films    finger film-books and banned chinese films

Though it might seem otherwise, these are not films you reflect on while you masturbate nor are they a hidden collection of Chinese porn. And while we do consider both of the aforementioned worthy of future interest, it’s not what we’re talking about here.
I. flip books

We found out what finger cinema actually is by receiving gifts from two separate places (Argentina and Uruguay) in a very short space of time. Basically, finger cinema is the name given to flip books in many South American countries. In these paper projections, it’s nice to recognise the importance of the “motor” behind the machine. And if you really think about it, there is something there on a deeper level, too. In movies made with real light and shade, it’s always a finger that starts the camera, lights and projectors.

II. chinese films

I came across these paper films in a street market in Beijing. They are not “flip books”. Cinema projections are a very complicated
business and need some serious infrastructure, so until quite recently, the places that projectors didn’t reach made do with films that were printed on paper. The most significant scenes were picked out and put together in book form with subtitles under each photo. They were a form of video club in a country without video clubs. Besides, many banned films were distributed in this fashion as they were easier to move around, hide and share.