Friday, November 16, 2007

Lim + Lam Documentary by Ryan Mc

Lin + Lam are the directors of an artistic documentary that depicts the impact of modernization on the world through the modes of transportation in various cities, called “Departure.” The documentary is filmed in several different modes of transportations, and is filmed in three different cities: Taipei, Shanghai, and Hanoi. Along with the visual movement through all of the areas seen in the film, there are also several woman narrators, whom each speak a different language, which tell stories and facts about the various places they are put in. The entire documentary is made for the viewer to experience these cities through the trains, cars and bicycles that are used by the everyday person in these eastern cities.

The film starts with the departure of a train and traveling through Taipei and the suburbs surrounding it. The camera is positioned at an angle so that you can see the entire view from one side of the camera. While the train is moving casually from station to station, the narrators tell stories of political issues within the country or give a brief story or purpose about the train and its purpose. Each story is told three times, but in different languages. One of the stories gave facts about the history of the train and the importance the train system had had in times of political crisis.

The next segment of the film is shown in Shanghai in the passenger seat of an automobile. The car starts off in the center of Shanghai’s metropolitan area, and gives an amazing view of the large yet beautiful architecture of the cities surroundings. The same narrators discuss various issues of political turmoil, while half way through the segment a taxi cab mistakenly hit the car the camera was traveling in.

The final destination in the documentary is Hanoi. This time, the camera is placed on the end of a small trailer carried by a bicycle across the long narrow bridge through Hanoi. The mood of the city is very gloomy with overcast weather and old pieces of architecture that are seen on the bridge. The narrators tell stories of fighting and war that have plagued the city since the French occupation. The camera faces off the side of a long bridge which looks out into the city, and then into the river bank. The segment ends with the bike finally reaching the other side where it is nothing but farm and forest.

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