By Felicity Moir, on 11 May 2009
Posted by Felicity Moir
Filed under Conference Entries
The title of this longer-than-the-maximum-five-minute-movie confused me since the first four minutes is almost entirely devoted to the history of Chinese medicine, and we only get to the 21st century half-way through. In truth, I think the second half is all that is required to sustain interest through what is essentially an illustrated lecture.
I liked many of the image transitions and movements. These were accomplished, smooth, and entirely relevant to the narrative. Again, however, they would have benefited from being trimmed to remove the ‘Wellcome Images’ captions and messy borders. The inclusion of background effects such as music or even pre-recorded sound from classroom activity, would have enhanced the visual material. The narrative itself was very cleanly recorded although I think it lacked ‘breathing space’. It’s very tempting to ‘lecture’ when pace and space is more appropriate to movie-making.
Very nice flow – looks very professional. It must have been a lot of fun to put these images together – of the early manuscripts, and panning down the body as you describe the lungs channel connecting to interior organs further below. Very nice.
I like your exposition on the portrait of master-disciple instruction around (1:14) – a nice metaphor which presages the later description of clinical training as being like an apprenticeship. (5:41)
(NB, however, the objects immediately stage right to the teacher are writing brushes, and the object further over an inkstone with two wet brushstrokes. Bt maybe it’s a box w. 2 needles? What, though, is that big thing on the (stage) right student’s book that looks like a European incense censer? Looks cool!).
You might want to check dates on the neijing tu.
In some places you use terms that aren’t translated for a general audience – four diagnoses and wuxing, around 2:42-50 need a bit more exposition for the audience you’ve pitched the video towards. Without explaining them, your points will be lost to the audience.
I love this photo at 5:28. Really lovely exchange going on there.
In context, the narrative at (5:54) makes it sound that academic robes are not just reminiscent of Chinese garb, but actually a cultural transmission, which may be stronger a point than you want to make.
I had no idea ear acupuncture was a French development – cool! What a great story there, from the perspective of historical transmissions.
If you can find a way to get rid of the tape-clicks at the end of some of your sound bytes that might help in the final edit.
Overall, this is a highly informative piece, with a lot of material packed in, and makes a lovely introduction to Westminster and the training there, as well as to TCM in general. Well done, you must be very pleased with it!
To pick up Carole’s point about the length of the clip, a suggestion would be to focus on one area of TCM and to trace its development from its historical origins to its teaching at Westminster today (eg acupuncture – like Michael I’m keen to know more about the developments in France!).
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