Waiting and the Duration of Time: The Critique of Everyday Life in Jia Zhangke’s Platform


ABSTRACT: This paper examines the duration of time in everyday life as depicted in Jia Zhangke’s 賈樟柯 second feature film, Platform 站台 (Zhantai) (2000). In light of the Bergsonian notion of time and Deleuze’s creative application of this notion in the realm of cinema, it demonstrates how the duration of time – the core of the experience of waiting depicted in the film – is brought out in the film’s narrative structure, cinematic devices, and acting style. Fundamental to the film’s creative endeavour is the attempt to capture the resistance of the present moment against the weight of its own virtual double, which is to say, to unearth the gaps and lacunae that lie beneath the temporal continuum assumed in our habitual way of living. On the basis of this particular vision of time, the film offers a critique of everyday life as the very site where the platitude of existing norms of culture is laid bare and where the unbearable pressure of time forces us to question the value of all existing possibilities.

KEYWORDS: Waiting, duration of time, virtuality, everyday life, Jia Zhangke, Platform.