Notebook From China

Direction
Year
1987
Country
  • Denmark
Duration
79min
Audio Tracks
Subtitles

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".


Danish subtitles are available for download only in DVD format.

Details

  • Original title
    Notebook From China
  • Direction
  • DOP
    Dan Holmberg
  • Editing
    Janus Billeskov Jansen, Rumle Hammerich, Vinca Wiedemann
  • Sound
    Niels Arnt Torp
  • Duration
    79 min (46-90 min.)
  • Year
    1987
  • Country
    • Denmark
  • Colour
    • Colour

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