A masterful film from Jia Zhang-ke, the renowned director of Still Life and The World, 24 City chronicles the dramatic closing of a once-prosperous state-owned aeronautics factory in Chengdu, a city in Southwest China, and its conversion into a sprawling luxury apartment complex. Bursting with poetry, pop songs and striking visual detail, the film weaves together unforgettable stories from three generations of workers – some real, some played by actors (including Joan Chen) – into a vivid portrait of the human struggle behind China’s economic miracle.
While a student at the Beijing Film Academy, Jia would make three short films to hone his skills. The first, a ten minute short documentary on tourists in Tiananmen Square entitled One Day in Beijing, was made in 1994 on self-raised funds. Though Jia has referred to his first directorial effort as inconsequential and “naive”, he also described the short day and half shoot as “excitement…difficult to express in words.” But it was Jia’s second directorial effort, the short film Xiao Shan Going Home (1995), that would bring him to the attention of the film world. It was a film that helped establish Jia’s style and thematic interests and, in Jia’s words, was a film that “truly marks the beginning of my career as a filmmaker.” Xiao Shan would eventually to screen abroad where it won a top prize at the 1997 Hong Kong Independent Short Film & Video Awards. More significantly, the film’s success brought Jia in contact with cinematographer Yu Lik-wai and… read more
The shot of the machine on the truck driving around the city has been chasing me for a week. Marvelous film.
Besides being an enormously touching film 24 City is also a film about film and its evocative ability to make Memory and History visible to us without trying to give us the actual images of them.
"Like his last film, 2008's 24 City, Jia Zhangke's Un Certain Regard title I Wish I Knew is a documentary/fiction hybrid about modern
Above: Robin Weng's Fujian Blue. There are a few reasons to justify Richard Brody’s claim that Chinese filmmaking was “the crucial story
If you're going to talk about cinema at present, even if you're not talking very thoroughly, it's inevitable that Yu Lik-wai's work, if not
An unusual pairing of industry and romanticism, unlikely to appeal to Marxists, 24 City is a beautiful film about the relationship between opposites: youth and age, poetry and pop music, fiction… read review
Difficile d’exprimer un ressenti sur ce film parce que par son propos, il m’intéresse énormément, mais il se montre assez décevant dans une partie de son traitement.
Jia Zhang Ke, parce qu’il va… read review