A Train Arrives at the Station

V' 16

A Train Arrives at the Station

Thom Andersen
USA, 2016
Shortfilms, 15min, kein Dialog

© Viennale © Viennale

A Train Arrives at the Station

Thom Andersen
USA, 2016
Shortfilms, 15min, kein Dialog

Screenplay: 
Thom Andersen
Sound: 
Andrew Kim
Editor: 
Thom Andersen
Andrew Kim

Production: 
Thom Andersen
World Sales: 
Grasshopper Film
Format: 
DCP
Color and Black/White

There was a shot in THE THOUGHTS THAT ONCE WE HAD we had to cut whose loss I particularly regretted. It was a shot of a train pulling into Tokyo Station from Ozu’s THE ONLY SON (1936). So I decided to make a film around this shot, an anthology of train arrivals. It comprises 26 shots from movies, 1904–2015. It has a simple serial structure: each black & white sequence in the first half rhymes with a color sequence in the second half. Thus the first shot and the final shot show trains arriving at stations in Japan from a low camera height. In the first shot, the train moves toward the right; in the last shot, it moves toward the left. A bullet train has replaced a steam locomotive. So after all these years, I’ve made another structural film. (Thom Andersen)