China Diary

Day 189:On The Brilliance Of The Chinese

The brilliance of the Chinese in some things is great. One of the moments when you go just like “why don’t we have it in the west” was yesterday, after a dinner. We had had few white wines, and the person who drove us there found himself a bit inebriated. Not too much, mind you, only two beers, but enough to make the ride home not a 100% safe bet – so instead of him either sobering up, or leaving the car back, he ordered a “drunk driver” from his phone app!

The Hot Pot

And lo and behold, in 10 minutes a guy comes in riding a small, foldable electronic bike, folds it up, packs it in the back of our driver’s car, and takes us all safely home. What a great service! Would 100% work in LA, and definitely in Finland, too.


The meal was, of course, hot pot. It has been good three months since I had any, and boy was I happy to dig into another pot of boiling water and delicious meat. Lamb kidney, cow stomach, lamb tail… Just pure brilliance.


Typical hot pot dinner consists of sesame sauce with spices (the brown sauce on the left hand side corner), raw meat (pork and beef, usually) which you cook in the pot yourself, shrimp (the balls in the middle) and kind of a bread you finish the meal with (peeking on the left hand side corner).

We had started the day a bit earlier, already at 2pm, meaning I was tired as hell to begin with. Jetlag dictates that I rarely sleep before the breakfast, and afterwards, I need a good 7 hours of sleep at lest. In this case, it wasn’t happening, and the day itself was a brain-rattling one. In the movie we have one damned sequence which has always been slightly a mystery to me. It’s an abstract sequence which, when reading, makes sense, but to really crack it open to images and actual shots is a much harder bit. We sat with Max at VHQ’s cinema, and went on to long debates on what it should, could and would be, and even though we did land into some kind of a plan, it still does feel slightly shapeless. I’ll have to re-visit the idea today, and see if there’s a way to make it clearer.

After the meeting we went back to Jiabo, where we had another meeting with our sound designer, mr. Wu. With him we watched the film’s first 20 minutes discussing the soundspace it would require us to create. While much of it is business as usual, there are still elements that require a bit more thought over: how does a “mysterious message” from the Moon sound like. What’s the film’s approach to sounds in space – the ages-old question? What does a “moonquake” sound like. Questions I’ve been pondering with the two earlier films I made as well, but each film is different.

Selfie stare.

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