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Related Categories: San Francisco | Arts + Action
View other events for the week of 11/ 4/2006
"Tie Xi Qu: West of the Tracks" Sarkis Film Series (2 Day Screening)
Date Saturday November 04
Time 11:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Location Details
San Francisco Art Institute
800 Chestnut Street
415.771.7020
http://www.sfai.edu
Event Type Screening
Organizer/Author
In conjunction with the exhibition, Sarkis: Alive and After, SFAI will host a series of free public film screenings in the Lecture Hall. The films, selected by Sarkis as those that have influenced his practice, include Wang Bing's rarely screened 10-hour film Tie Xi Qu: West of Tracks. The film screening dates are as follows, all screenings take place at 7:30pm unless otherwise noted: The Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach, Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet (October 3); The Color of Pomegranates, Sergei Paradjanov (October 10); Ice, Robert Kramer (October 17); Stalker, Andreï Tarkovski (October 24); 1+1 (Sympathy for the Devil), Jean-Luc Godard (October 31); Tie Xi Qu: West of Tracks (Saturday & Sunday, November 4 & 5, 11am-2pm, 2:30pm-5:30pm, 7pm-10pm); The Seasons, Artavazd Pelechian (TBA).

“Tie Xi Qu: West Of The Tracks” - November 4 & 5
(China, 2003)
Wang Bing
Once its country's industrial manufacturing showcase, the Tie Xi district of northeastern China saw its economy collapse in the late 1990s. Its failures became symbolic of those of the nation, with its symptoms of industrial decay, unemployment, dead-end towns, and dead-end kids. They are symptoms repeated in cities and regions across the globe, everyplace the new world economic miracle conspicuously avoided. Playing out like the nonfiction flip side of recent Chinese films like Unknown Pleasures and Shower, or a visually and emotionally rich seminar on contemporary Chinese culture and global capital, Tie Xi Qu: West of the Tracks follows this region's changes through a three-year period, and the individuals who are blessed—or cursed—to experience them.

Part I, Rust depicts the day-to-day activities in what's left of the industrial heartland of China, following workers as they toil in such life-sapping realms as The Shenyang Smelting Factory. Infiltrating break rooms and smelting floors, Wang's camera is as entranced by the physical decay of the factories themselves as by the lively, at times intense hierarchies and interplays of the people within them.

Part II, Remnants is a portrait of the optimistically named Rainbow Row, a working-class neighborhood slated for destruction. Focusing on the groups of aimless teens that hang out along Rainbow Row's corridors and corners, Remnants is the real-time documentary version of recent Chinese gangster-youth cinema, with its teenage protagonists as anxious, idiosyncratic, and disenchanted as any of their fictional counterparts, yet far more memorable.

Photographed by Wang. (423 mins, In Mandarin with English subtitles, Color)

Film Notes Courtesy of Pacific Film Archive
Added to the calendar on Tuesday Oct 17th, 2006 4:49 PM
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