It's all a question of architecture, of creation against destruction, of space in a big country, of small details pointing to monuments, of people and objects interleaving themselves from afar. Still Life maybe doesn't have the budget and bright aesthetics of Jia Zhangke later epics, it doesn't prevent it from being absolutely beautiful.
A beautifully filmed - sometimes surreal - movie in danger of giving digital cinematography a good name. Two weathered 'exiles' from Zhangke's home town of Shanxi return to a town on probation, about to sink into the water, a maze of rubble, waste and half-naked, toiling men exploited by the next form of exploitation. Antonioni on the Yangtze, though I'm not sure that the CGI UFO and rocket statue were needed.
Helheden fungerede ikke for mig. Flere decideret amatøragtige skuespillerpræstationer der stod ud og ødelagde stemningen. Lidt for prætentiøs til tider for min smag. Underfortalt hvor jeg var i tvivl om det var meningen eller bare ikke særlig gennemtænkt. Værd at se dog, mange spændende elementer også, men overall en langtrukken og udsivende oplevelse.
A contemporary version of a ghost town, an industrial wasteland where human beings simply wander. Like all of Jia’s films, “Still Life” is bleak and sleepy, but a transfixing snapshot of urban sprawl and the people who slog along looking for something, anything, that’ll give light or relief.
não à toa a tradução direta do nome do filme chama-se "natureza morta". se o que estava em jogo em Plataforma e Prazeres Desconhecidos era os jovens que assistiam à transformação da china, aqui o país surge como a impossibilidade materializada das mudanças. o cinema de jia trata principalmente disso: não deixar que as memórias individuais sejam naufragadas (neste filme, literalmente) pelo progressismo histórico.
This one stumps me a litte--I saw many themes/motifs and their reflections, but how it all adds together I'm not quite sure...a quest for bringing the past into the present, construction/deconstruction, nature vs. city, rich vs. poor, shots panning, wandering, back and forth...
Still life: 1) the painterly dimension of filmmaking; the camera settling on the immobility of scenes, the alternate boredom and vitality of a class of Chinese person whose life is structured around labour (and, hence, global capital) 2) life which still counts as life; life which survives and develops even as various forms of governmental demolition threaten to sever the populous from its forms-of-life
jia zhangke´s films don´t take me immediately, from the beginning, they grow in me slowly and crawl under the skin silently so i don´t even notice. it´s like when i read some of kafka´s short stories and the language and the subject seem perfectly ordinary and suddenly i find myself in wonder, how and where the course changed and i try to go back and read again in order to find that specific curve that changed
I'm glad someone here mentioned A Better Tomorrow, because it's crucial to interpreting the film at the political level. I think basically every English language reviewer of this film has completely missed the commentary on mainland/HK relations going on, manifest in the character of Zhou Lin. Not only does he perform as Mark Gor, his ringtone is the theme song to The Bund, a Cantonese drama [...]