This month, we will screen People’s Park (2012, 78 minutes), directed by Libbie D. Cohn and J.P. Sniadecki. People’s Park is a single-shot documentary that immerses viewers in an unbroken journey through a famous urban park in Chengdu, China.
The directors shoot their tour of the park in one continuous 75-minute long tracking shot. No cuts, no edits: the film starts, it rolls, it stops. Sounds simple, but in the completely uncontrolled context of a crowded Chinese public space, their work required meticulous preparation and rigorous execution to achieve what looks like a spontaneous result. Their camera catches hundreds of Chinese urbanites out for fun, relaxation, socialising and freedom: eating, strolling, singing, practicing calligraphy, dancing (to various, surprising beats) and watching each other. This is as close to pure pleasure as cinema can provide.
Film introduced by film critic Agnieszka Gratza. Snacks and refreshments provided.