Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Iron Ministry 2014 New York Film Festival 2014

A look at train travel in China via an extended cinematic train ride across the country. Filmed over three years the film appears to be one long ride where we get to know the rhythms of train travel and the thoughts of the various passengers.

Opening with sequences of people preparing food in the train cars this film then moves out to show us slices of life in the train cars. For a while we are simple observers watching as the people on the train go about their business and wait to get to their destinations, people come and go.  Eventually we begin to make contact with people, a small boy makes a hysterically bleak announcement about train etiquette involving population control and the lack of safety on the trains (When you find your feet are above your head you'll have reached your final destination), other people talk about various facets of life.

This is a wonderful slice of life that could only have been improved by the discreet use of Smell-o-vision so that we could have smelled the food that was cooked at the start of the film.

I really like this film a great deal.

Interestingly my one thought while watching it was that this would make a bracing double feature with SNOWPIERCER the science fiction look at life in a train traveling the world. Based on this film the likelihood of the fiction films reality coming to pass is nil since seeing how crowded these trains get I don't think people would last 20 years.

One of the finds of this year's New York Film Festival and a must see on the big screen so you can really feel like you are there

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