In the middle of his first feature film Kaili Blues (2016) Chinese director Gan Bi orchestrates a 45 minute tracking long-take through a misty village in the mountainous Southern province of Guizhou.
The scene is set in the mountains of Southern China. A doctor, Chen, is on a journey to find pipe musicians to play at the grave of a dead friend. As the scene opens, men lounge on a stone wall. They smoke cigarettes. The sky is overcast. A child passes by. The men are seated in front of a stone house. The house is on the side of a mountain road. The scene has a sense of calmness. It’s green, and the sky is overcast. Their motorbikes are parked in front of them. A woman named Yangyang yells, “I’m going out uncle.”
She exits the stone house. She’s wearing a sleeveless blouse sandals and a yellow skirt.
She walks down a path to a man seated on a motorbike. He has an oversized short sleeve oxford and cuffed jeans.
“Do you need a ride?”
He attempts to start the bike, but it won’t catch. She motions to a blue container on the seat.
“I went to pick up some paint.”
She rubs her arms.
She’s wearing a white blouse with a yellow summer skirt.
“Is it playing up again?”
She walks to another bike
“Whose motorbike is this?”
The owner of the bike gets on and it starts right up.
The other man tries to get his bike started.
“Who are you swearing at?”
The Doctor approaches.
“Five yuan to Zenzhuan.”
“I’m looking for a group of Miao, that can play Lusheng Pipes.”
The men on the wall shrug, “No one plays the Lusheng anymore.”
“I know them,” says the man who’s just started his motorbike.
“I drive past them every day they’re just up this road.”
“Watch that he doesn’t take you for a ride.”