where are the Jia Zhange-Ke lovers?
I was enormously impressed by the two films that I’ve seen – STILL LIFE and 24 CITY – not least because they manage that tricky combination of torn-from-the-headlines subject-matter, acute awareness of the wider social-political-cultural context, and exceptionally personal, instantly recognisable aesthetic approach. I’ll definitely catch up on his earlier work when I get a chance.
I took a big risk buying Still Life, I’d never heard of Jia Zhang-ke, and I didn’t know what to expect from the foreign films section at my local Borders, but I saw all the good reviews, or blurbs, about it, and the story sounded like something out of a Hou Hsiao-hsien, or Edward Yang film. So, I bought it went home and watched it. I loved it. It was so gorgeous, and simple, and contains all the things I love about modern Asian cinema. I didn’t like the second story as much, it felt more like filler than I would have liked, but it had its moments and showed a different path in a similar story (like Ozu in that regard). It made me want to see all his back work, and made me excited for his next work, if it ever plays where I am. I liked the Dong documentary, also, it was a really good documentary. I sort of expected Seventy minutes of a pretentious artist talking about how great his art is, but it was much more observational.
Not familiar with him. I just put Still Life on my Netflixs list. 24 City wasn’t available.
I’ve only seen The World sadly, and subsequently had to write a paper on it back when I was in undergrad. For the most part though, I found it very similar in style to early Hou Hsiao-hsien and Gus Van Sant. Almost a certain degree of cinema verite juxtaposed with complete moments of animated fantasy.
I sort of forgot about it til now, but hes definitely someone I need to check out now that Ive been reminded of him…
The master of deconstructing space. He develops the story and characters around space like no other director before. Best Chinese director of the Sixth Generation without any doubt.
Love him basically – only seen Unknown Pleasures, Platform and Still Life but aim to see more
Have seen: 24 City, Unknown Pleasures, Xiao Wu, Still Life, and Dong. One of my fav contemporary film makers.