Common Ground and China: A User’s Manual Available for free online

China: A User's Manual (Films), Common Ground, Screenings

Fans of Beg Steal Borrow’s film will be pleased to know that we have made available for free both Common Ground and China: A User’s Manual (Films), two films that we completed in 2012.

The former played at FEST Film Festival in Espinho, Portugal, in 2013, as well as being selected for American Online Films Awards Spring Showcase 2014.

China: A User’s Manual, meanwhile, has had very few screenings, mainly because it is too smart for most audience to understand and thus is not really fit for selection in a lot of places. Smart, or boring. Whichever way you feel about the film, it likely says as much about you as it does about the film and its maker.

Either way, if you fancy watching either film (and in the case of China, there is black leader in between sections because the film is designed to be seen in small chunks), then please do!

Here are the links:

… and…

China: A User’s Manual (Films) gets first screening

China: A User's Manual (Films), Screenings

Beg Steal Borrow’s Chris Marker-inspired documentary/essay-film, China: A User’s Manual (Films), has had its first public screening.

The film played as part of a series of films programmed by the Centre for Research into Film and Audiovisual Cultures (CRFAC) at the University of Roehampton, London.

The University of Roehampton, London, which recently hosted a screening of Beg Steal Borrow's China: A User's Manual (Films).

The University of Roehampton, London, which recently hosted a screening of Beg Steal Borrow’s China: A User’s Manual (Films).

The screening took place on 12 March 2014, and it involved an enthusiastic response from and an engaging discussion between those present and director William Brown.

The CRFAC series has also involved screenings by Omid Djalili, Andrea Luka Zimmerman, Michael Chanan, Suridh Hassan, Rozy Sarkis, Catherine Grant and Austin Vince during the 2013-2014 academic year.

Hopefully, China: A User’s Manual will get more screenings in the near future. Keep an eye out for it!

China: A User’s Manual (Films) gets IMDb page

Beg Steal Borrow News, Uncategorized

Beg Steal Borrow Films’s last effort, China: A User’s Manual (Films) has been granted its own page on IMDb.

To see the page, follow this link here.


The film is a travelogue written by Christian Bouche-Villeneuve as he travels around China with his companion, Sancho Panza.

Christian’s musings and letters to and from Sandor Krasna form the soundtrack to the film, as we see them go in search of the real China and to understand what on earth what on might mean when one says ‘the people’.

Informal feedback on Beg Steal Borrow films

Afterimages, Beg Steal Borrow News, China: A User's Manual (Films), Common Ground, En Attendant Godard, endemic, Uncategorized

It is with great pleasure that I’d like to share some informal feedback that I have received on various Beg Steal Borrow films.

First of all, the great Mohsen Makhmalbaf contacted me briefly to write: “I like En Attendant Godard.”

Secondly, the prolific Josh Hyams also wrote to say that that he “thought your films are beautiful.”

And thirdly, the excellent academic David H. Fleming wrote to say:

China: A User’s Manual: I adored it. Really. It spoke with me. To me. It was like memories and thoughts I too have had. A prosthetic memory. Like I was on the back of the screen mirror. I knew some of the stories of course from talking to you. But they were also like reruns of my memories. Memories I did not know we shared. It’s so dense and yet light and free. Antonioni, Marker, the third-image. The epistolary form so like Montesquieu’s Persian Letters in light and sound. I had read almost all the books and stories you mentioned. Knew all the films and scenes you were referencing. The news stories and made up ones too. And recognised a China that I know and feel. I felt like you were talking to me. And wondered if it was not me, and I did not know you, would it be the same. We need to do something with this film out here.

“I really like Common Ground, too. Haunting… It was a dream-like recollection of Afterimages and to a lesser extend En Attendant Godard. Totally appreciate you sending them. A breath of fresh air.”

What wonderful feedback from such esteemed people. I am humbled, but also inspired by this feedback. Many thanks! Let’s carry ourselves with confidence to the next Beg Steal Borrow shoot, provisionally titled Endemic, scheduled for shooting in France in July 2013!