1. Païni, Dominique. “La traversée de la Chine.” Interview in A L’Ouest des Rails by Wang Bing. 2003. DVD, Mk2, 2006.[return to page 1 of essay]

2. Bazin, André. What is Cinema? Vol. 1. Trans. Hugh Gray. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1984. p. 27.

3. Lu Xinyu. “Ruins of the Future: Class and History in Wang Bing’s Tiexi District.” New Left Review 31 (2005): 125-136. p. 125.

4. Bégaudeau, François. “Après le siècle, en marche.” Cahiers du Cinéma (June 2004): pp. 32-35. 

5. One is reminded here of Gilles Deleuze’s concept of “stratigraphy” or “the deserted layers of our time which bury our own phantoms” in Cinema 2: The Time Image. Trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Robert Galeta. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 1989. p. 244.

6. Bazin. What is Cinema? Vol. 2. Trans. Hugh Gray. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2005. p. 99.

7. Bégaudeau, p. 34.[return to page 2]

8. Bazin, What is Cinema? Vol. 2. p. 33.

9. Lu, p. 130.

10. Lu, p. 130. 

11. According to Walter Benjamin, the symbolic presentation of a natural object is an attempt to render present the absolute form or Platonic idea in which the individual object participates, implying “the unity of the material and the transcendental object.” The allegory, on the other hand,

“[divests] the phenomena of their false unity... Whereas in the symbol destruction is idealized and the transfigured face of nature is fleetingly revealed in the light of redemption, in allegory the observer is confronted with the facies hippocratica of history as a petrified, primordial landscape....Allegories are, in the realm of thoughts, what ruins are in the realm of things.”

The Origin of German Tragic Drama. Trans. John Osborne. New York: Verso, 1998. p. 33, 166, 176.

12. Cowan, Bainard. “Walter Benjamin’s Theory of Allegory.” New German Critique 22 (Winter, 1981), pp. 109-122. p. 117.

13. Bégaudeau, p. 33.

14. Michel de Certeau defines “tactic” as

“a calculus which cannot count on a proper, nor thus on a borderline distinguishing the other as a visible totality... The space of the tactic is the space of the other.  Thus it must play on and with a terrain imposed on it and organized by the law of a foreign power.”

"'Making Do': Uses and Tactics." The Practice of Everyday Life. Trans. Steven F. Rendall. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984. pp. 36-7.[return to page 3]

15. Bégaudeau, p. 33.

16. Reynaud, Bérénice. “Dancing with Myself, Drifting with My Camera: the Emotional Vagabonds of China’s New Documentary.” Senses of Cinema. 28 (2003). 

17. Zhang Xianmin. “Kanbujian de Yingxiang” (Invisible Images) in Shu Cheng. April, 2004.

18. Wang Bing. “Plutôt agréable,” an interview with Cahiers du Cinéma, June 2004. pp. 34-35.

19. Bazin, What is Cinema? Vol. 2, p. 98.

20. The most famous example is Jia Zhangke’s Still Life, which had won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 2006, and Yan Yu and Li Yifan’s documentary Before the Flood, which won the Robert Flaherty Prize at Yamagata International Film Festival in 2005.

21. Walter Benjamin. “Thesis on the Philosophy of History.” Illuminations. Ed. Hannah Arendt. Trans. Harry Zorn. London: Pimlico, 1999. p. 253

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