China’s urbanisation programme is consuming up to 40 per cent of the world’s cement and steel reserves. Kangbashi is being built as an ultramodern administrative, research, finance and education centre to dwarf all its predecessors. Not far away, Yumen is crumbling hopelessly. Two manifestations of megalomania, both of them ghost towns: one post-industrial, the other obsessed by the future. Against the backdrop of the one goats graze among the ruins, and in the other the world’s largest and most beautiful fountains are all but deserted. Man Made Place is a Janus-faced opera, like a gigantic coin, not with two sides but with haunting images full of quiet mourning and painful melancholy.
A walking comedy from Appenzell about naive and magical chasms. Mountains and echoes reflect our inmost soul. The commentary whispers and dramatises, open hate of tourists takes over and makes the camera tilt. An expressionist essay examines what mountains do to us, and what we do in them.
A heap of rubble from buildings bombed in wartime rises like a green forested wall outside the city which Edward has refused to acknowledge for 22 years. The hermit has built his shack and paths out of the bricks he digs nonstop from the ground and constantly handles. He can sell the metal he unearths in the process. He has no objections to the film about himself.
The intersection of two straight lines, not only in the acrobatics of formulae but also as far as perspective in concerned, lies at infinity. If we stood on rails and looked along them, optical illusion and lack of experience would help overcome the mathematics. But what if, right at our feet, there were countless intersections of countless rails, and what if they looked anything but straight, and the whole tangle began to revolve? We wouldn’t trust our senses, wouldn’t know which way to turn, and that would be the end of all our infinity. No train would ever get through unscathed.