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Notebook From China

DIR: Jørgen Leth
1987 / Denmark / 79 min

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Tech. spec. MP4 360p
Audio tracks chi
Subtitles en

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Audio tracks chi
Subtitles en

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Tech. spec. Download ISO
Audio tracks chi
Subtitles en, dan

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Recommend this film

In 1984 Jørgen Leth, cinematographer Dan Holmberg and sound recordist Niels Torp travelled some 6,000 kilometres by train through China. The result is a very calm, beautifully perceived travelogue borne by unprejudiced curiosity and observational ability. A riverboat in a landscape of sugar-top mountains in Southern China and the many shots from the train journey are the visual leitmotifs of the film, in which we meet an acrobat, a painter in inks, some opera students from the Beijing conservatory, and a group of female racing cyclists. The camera falls in love with exquisite tai chi movements and the dexterity of the train kitchen staff, and the soundtrack gives a vivid sense of the noisy life on board, with music blaring from scratchy loudspeakers. The fact that the film should be viewed as a collection of notes on film, i.e. a kind of travel journal, is emphasised by the title and by Leth's only words on the soundtrack: "I take notes because I want to remember what I have seen. I am smoking a Chinese cigarette and I am travelling on board a train in China".

About

Director Jørgen Leth
Screenplay
Dir. of Photography Dan Holmberg
Editing Janus Billeskov Jansen, Rumle Hammerich, Vinca Wiedemann
Music
Sound Niels Arnt Torp
Duration 79 min
Year 1987
Country Denmark
Colour Colour
Tags Asia, filmic diary, observational, poetic, society
Production
Distribution
Festivals
Awards


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