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February 01, 2011

Screening of Wang Bing (王兵)'s West of the Tracks (铁西区)

Wang Bing's West of the Tracks (「铁西区」, 王兵 导演)

Do you love film?
Do you love film enough to watch a nine hour masterpiece?

Come watch West of the Tracks at Projectorhead Extreme...

We dare you!

PHExtreme will show the entire film on Saturday, and for those wimps who can't hack the entire film in one sitting, Part III will be shown again on Sunday. Audience is welcome to bring survival supplies: pillows, food, Red Bull, etc.

Projectorhead will supply the coffee!

COST: Free!
PLACE: 1175 North Quad

February 19 (Saturday):
Part I: 11:00~2:45
Part II: 3:30~6:30
Part III: 8:00~10:15

February 20 (Sunday):
Part III: 3:00~5:15

Film Festivals, Screenings, Awards

Grand Prize, International Documentary Festival, Marseille, 2003
Grand Prize, Robert and Frances Flaherty Grand Prize, Yamagata, 2003
Grand Prize, International Documentary Festival, Lisbon, 2002
Berlin International Film Festival, 2002
Montgolfiere d'Or juried prize for documentary, 3 Continents Festival, Nantes
Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival, Ithaca, NY, 2009
forumdoc.bh.2009, Brazil

"Without question the greatest work to have come out of the Chinese documentary movement, and must be ranked among the most extraordinary achievements of world cinema in the new century." — Lu Xinyu, New Left Review

"Capturing moments both large and small...this profoundly empathetic and humanist work bears witness to a vanished way of life and the real cost of progress." — Jeanette Catsoulis, The New York Times

"A transfixing experience - if an undeniably demanding one - Wang Bing's nine-hour documentary on Chinese industrial decay should take its place as a key work of socially minded vérité" — Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out New York

More on West of the Tracks:
• Jie Lie in Jump Cut
• Just Another Film Buff blog
• Eight Rooks on Twitch

Director's biography: Wang Bing is a leading figure of the exciting and unprecedented documentary movement that has been gathering vital momentum within the Chinese cinema over the last decade. Wang’s epic documentariesWest of the Tracks, Fengming: A Chinese Memoir and Crude Oil define the brave political outspokenness, tenacity and artistic sophistication that continues to inspire a new and ambitious generation of young Chinese filmmakers. From the vast, nine-hour panorama of a dying factory town meticulously crafted byWest of the Tracks to Fengming’s transformation of the Cultural Revolution into a gripping first person narration and Crude Oil’s real time portrait of the grueling fourteen hour working day of oil workers, Wang’s formally daring films offer profound meditations on history and the paradox of the industrial ruin and human suffering caused by the inexorable “progress” of modern China. A different, more dedicated, mode of spectatorship is required and infinitely rewarded by the awesome scale and sheer length of Wang’s features, which treat time as almost a sculptural element, using their intense duration to give a solidity and presence to the crumbling factories, shantytowns and lonely rooms that they explore and cohabit. Forging a rare intimacy with the workers, widows and chronically unemployed whose voices and struggles are made poignantly real within his films, Wang takes the observational ideal championed by cinema verité to a radical and important new level. Using no-frills digital video equipment, Wang creates intensely cinematic films that draw a raw, tragic beauty and power from the world of slow time defined by decaying industrial infrastructure and landscapes imploded by the steady exploitation of their resources. In his latest, shorter documentaries, Happy Valley and Coal Money, Wang has embraced a more essayistic mode of inquiry that condenses the hierarchy of labor and regulated capitalism into stubborn and fascinating riddles. Wang’s contribution to the omnibus film State of the World marks his first foray into fiction filmmaking and points towards his greatly anticipated narrative feature, The Ditch(2010).

And in March director Wang will give a talk at the Ann Arbor Film Festival, which will show more of his stunning work.

Brought to you through a collaboration between the Ann Arbor Film Festival, the Center for Chinese Studies, and the Confucius Institute.

Projectorhead is the free film series of the Department of Screen Arts and Cultures: to join our list email Phil Hallman at phallman[at]umich[dot]edu.

Posted by zzhu at February 1, 2011 06:06 PM