Paper long abstract:
This paper argues that in <i>I Love Beijing (Xia Ri Nuan Yang Yang</i> dir. Ning Ying, 2000), the city’s roads are captured on film as cinematic handscrolls that an incomplete, yet to be built Beijing is made visible. Ning Ying’s right-to-left panning shots of road construction, borrows the viewing motion of handscrolls, in which scenes are manipulated one arm’s length at a time allowing the narrative to progress as the viewer streams (or scans) the image. Secondly, I also argue that Ning Ying’s filmic composition of the roads draws on the amateur-scholarly style of <i>xieyi</i> (sketching the idea) in which painted suggestions are favoured over verisimilitude. Through cinematographic techniques, Ning captures the roads of Beijing in a state of becoming, suggesting the Beijing that is yet to be. In <i>I Love Beijing</i> the unfinished roads and infrastructure of Beijing represent a future in the process of arriving.
Thinking about roads, movement, and environment