Camera : J. P. Sniadecki
Post-production sound mix: Ernst Karel
Produced in association with the Sensory Ethnography Lab and the Film Study Center at Harvard University.
Watching, waiting, and traversing: a portrait of Shanghai at the confluence of tempestuous weather, looming architecture, and murky waterways during a total solar eclipse.
“On July 22, 2009, a total solar eclipse darkened the skies over Shanghai. Rather than focus on the eclipse itself, I wanted to explore its effect on the built environment, offering a meditation on the possible tones and meanings generated in the meeting of this celestial phenomena and Shanghai, where I had lived, worked, and learned to speak Mandarin nine years prior. That morning, just before the eclipse, the megalopolis was cloaked in foreboding storm clouds. The camera traverses back and forth across the waters of the Huangpu River - the major artery that separates the city's two banks of old Puxi and new Pudong, an architectural vision of China's present moment and a possible global future. Darkness descends, things slow down, boats stop, and the Pudong's skyline is cast in thick black. Even so, Shanghai does not come to a complete halt - light from office windows and advertisements for the approaching World Expo pierce the darkness”.