Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Chung Kuo - Cina parte 1

Chung Kuo - Kiina osa 1 / Antonionis Kina 1 / China 1. IT (c) 1972 RAI. D: Michelangelo Antonioni. SC: Antonioni, Andrea Barbato. DP: Luciano Tovoli - original format? - colour - print 35mm. TV documentary. The whole film 207 min, the first part 76 min. A 35mm Cinecittà print with English subtitles viewed at Cinema Orion, Helsinki, 2 September 2008. - A good 35mm print, with full colour, as good as it gets, of a film that was apparently shot on 16mm. - Antonioni's fascinating tv documentary was made when China was barely emerging from the purgatory / hell of the Cultural Revolution, and Antonioni was one of the early witnesses of China's opening. - The documentary is honestly presented as one strictly controlled by the authorities. - It starts on the Tiananmen Square, the children's song "I Love Tiananmen Square", the center of the world, Chung Kuo meaning "the central country". - Antonioni traces faces, gestures, habits. We are conscious of the bans and restrictions imposed on him. - Tai chi. - Caesarean section with acupuncture anaesthesia. - The society of a huge textile factory, with kindergartens, simple homes, work is not hectic. - Art and culture to the masses. - The Great Wall. - The Holy Road of the Spirits. - The Museum of the Revolution. - The life in the land is constant struggle. Visiting farms and markets. - Back in Peking, in the Forbidden City, which has recently been opened. Interminable waiting of the imperial era brings to mind Kafka. - An old woman whose feet were deformed in the old era. - The new Peking, new urbanization. - Tien Tan: the Temple of the Heaven. - Cheng An: the puppet theatre with many puppet musicians.

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