Poet on a Business Trip Screen 4 articles

Poet on a Business Trip


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  • For a considerable time, the film’s leisurely oscillation between overt artifice and snippets of real life casts an agreeably soporific spell, as the metaphysics of the poems are allowed to seep gently into the scenery that gave rise to them. Yet bit by bit, the unadorned construction slowly morphs from a virtue into a millstone, with such a sedate back-and-forth perhaps able to carry 70 minutes but not 103.

  • Originally shot in 2002, but only revisited and eventually edited by Ju over a decade later, the film is both a contemporary document of a pre-digital mode of production and a salient vision of an industrially suspended Chinese landscape, one situated on fault lines both personal and political.

  • “Poet on a Business Trip”: I do not know how this title reads in Chinese, but in English its matter-of-fact anomaly, a title suggestive of silent film actualities and Luc Moullet’s drollness, serves well this curiously blasé, marvelously unusual film by Ju Anqi.

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    Sight & Sound: Tony Rayns
    March 31, 2017 | May 2017 Issue (p. 61) | Chinese Visual

    The poems are quite lovely, and conspicuously less worldly than the images, and it's they more than the visits to 'sacred' sites that give the film its spiritual dimension... Ju Anqi's film is paced like a rocket, as if to suggest the evanescence of the passing world, but its moments of calm contemplation yield an almost tangible sense of transcendence. Watching it is a mind-altering experience.