Antonioni on China

In 1972 Italian maestro Michelangelo Antonioni went to China to make a documentary for RAI with a duration of 3 ½ hours. The film, that was shown in cinemas in Italy and on television, and in a shorter version in other countries, has stayed unknown since then. Now it is released theatrically in France and on dvd.

French critic Jacques Mandelbaum writes with enthusiasm about it in le Monde April 7: C’est intrigant. A travers quelques grandes étapes – Pékin, la région du Hunan, puis les villes de Suzhou, Nankin et Shanghaï -, le film semble se chercher en permanence, hésiter entre plusieurs directions. Celle de la vocation pédagogique, celle de l’essai filmé, celle de la contemplation poétique. Antonioni filme ici les institutions, les monuments, les quartiers, en accompagnant ces images d’un commentaire qui les situe dans une perspective historique et politique. Il enregistre là, dans de longues échappées silencieuses, des visages choisis dans la foule, souvent ceux de très belles jeunes femmes, les hommes au travail, les activités quotidiennes. Quelque chose de l’ordre du désarroi, de l’impuissance, entre dans ces plans, qui multiplient panoramiques et zooms comme pour mieux saisir une réalité fuyante. Une impression renforcée par l’absence de traduction directe des paroles qui sont prononcées devant la caméra, et que s’approprie systématiquement le narrateur…

http://www.lemonde.fr/

Share your love
Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

Articles: 3839