On the occasion of the streaming release of two landmark Chinese independent films – Wen Hai and Zeng Jinyan’s Outcry and Whisper and Hu Bo‘s An Elephant Sitting Still – the good folks at Ovid asked me to share some thoughts.  If you watch only two Chinese films this year, watch these two. I stand in awe […]

The immersive, unforgiving documentaries of Wang Bing are often described in terms that would have their director as the Olympic marathoner of the contemporary cinema pantheon. Not only do his films appear monumental by virtue of their long running times, but Wang, even when his voice and image are effaced from his films, is no less present, evidently matching as best he can the intense physical demands of his subject’s environments, whether this be the toxic fumes of a smelting plant (the “Rust” section of West of the Tracks) or the everywhere-by-foot vertiginous slopes in Yunnan provin

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