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The Yellow Bank

Direction
Year
2010
Country
  • United States
  • China
Duration
27min
Audio Tracks
Subtitles

A short documentary that captures the longest total solar eclipse of the 21st century, The Yellow Bank takes you on a contemplative boat ride across the Huangpu River in Shanghai, China. Filmmaker J.P. Sniadecki, who lived and worked in Shanghai nine years earlier, uses the eclipse as a catalyst to explore the way weather, light, and sound affect the urban architectural environment during this extremely rare phenomenon.

Only visible in a narrow corridor in Southeast Asia, the eclipse was obscured by heavy clouds and gloomy weather in Shanghai, the largest city in its path. Although the total darkness of the eclipse lasted only 6 minutes and 39 seconds, long static shots of reflections on the rainy ferry windowpane or a glittering dark urban skyline juxtaposed with the traversing of the boat back and forth across the river make this 30-minute film a complete moving-image portrait of the cycle from light to dark to light.

With a painterly cinematographic palette and the captivating slowness of a natural time-lapse, The Yellow Bank depicts a modern city undergoing a near-mythical celestial phenomenon, during which images and sounds become the fabric of a dialogue that bridges nature, civilization, documentary, and art.

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