Processual in sum, perhaps. But the horror vacui that fills the screen, the density of a specific urban life, does it exhale a clear-cut air of philia or phobia? A metaphysics of presence? A metaphysics of difference? Either/or? Neither/nor? Take your pick if this Derridean indeterminacy will allow it. The montage though looks meticulous enough.
Such a beautiful thing and such exquisite sense of time flowing though you as you watch. If anyone asks me about „spirit of a place“ I’ll point towards „China Not China“. Also one of the closest impressions to watching out of a taxi window when you arrive to a new place.
I appreciate the skill and effort to create the visual effect, the music is interesting too. But it does not feel like this feature dares to venture far beyond that and the 14 minutes seem to last forever - quite an achievement for a short! ;-) It quickly becomes repetitive, but then just towards the end the night sequences bring some new patters and the floating lights are so hypotisingly beautiful...
A classic day-to-night city symphony, but multiplied to infinity. The repeating, overlapping layers give a dreamy, melancholic and uncertain vision of a transitory China. The final result is affective, but after a century of experimental filmmaking and exploring the materiality and sensorial aspects of the celluloid, I think that Tuohy's and Barrie's "experiment" doesn't have anything new to offer.
Experimental es el término que mejor define a este pequeño film que consigue seducirte con estas imágenes duplicadas, triplicadas de calles, autobuses, pasillos, pasos de peatones. Ahora que la palabra está de moda, una distopia de imágenes sobre el movimiento en nuestras calles
Films like this are why I love MUBI, & why the major decline in quality of curation here is so upsetting to me. My lament/cri de couer (French!) in my review of Zombies applies here too, but in terms of aesthetic/formal diversity being ghettoized to shorts. The user reviews foreground the need for helpful texts to support learning, in the face of a general lack of familiarity with conceptual & formal issues in film.
It's a wonderful little gem. The combination of celluloid's naturalness and wholeness and China's ethereal, alien beauty makes this film an eye candy. The sound design is incredible too, thanks to which this film looks and sounds like a visual symphony. It definitely evokes memories of German and American experimental films of the 30s but it is a fully independent, mature work of art.
A shimmering urban tapestry of a metropolis in flux. It's a work of luminous hypnotica that morphs the prosaic everyday into a cosmic reverie. How satisfying to witness celluloid manipulated with such sensuality + finesse. The film submerges reality in pool of surreality and presents an experience of China that's dazzlingly singular and quietly ecstatic. Relax into its wavelength -- it is an otherworldly delight.
In the vicinity of Marker and Reggio but lacking the cerebral radicalism of the former and the planetary perspective of the latter on human beings within a beehive of labor and domination, this ambient short captures in mesmerizing superimpositions the megalopolis' effacement of individuality, plays well with ad significations and refractions of traffic light figures, yet it succumbs to a futurist post-human matrix.
A fine example of semi-abstract film-making. The glaucoma-like images fuse effectively with the hypnotic soundtrack, building up a pervasive sense of alienation. Towards the end the music began to remind me of a bee hive, and the final sequence of lights in the darkness seems to add to the equation between human activity and insect life.
Amazing! Watches like a mash-up of Greenaway's Revolution and Hubert Bals Handshake, or like a naturalized Scott Pagano. Behind the abstraction of this formal exercise lies an architectural critique delivered through sinister ambiance and overwhelming anaphora. I can't look away!