24 May 2011 1:11 PM, PDT | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

This coming Saturday, Not Coming to a Theater Near You presents Jia Zhangke's rarely screened 2007 documentary, Useless, at the 92Y Tribeca. Leo Goldsmith opens a new series, Jia Zhangke's Migrations, for which Not Coming contributors will be reviewing all of Jia's features:


Jia's vision of China is both a gritty appraisal of a lurching economy and massively destabilizing reconstruction projects, and a phantasmagoria of the intimate desires of its ordinary citizens. Documentary realism vies with the simulacra of contemporary life: cellphone daydreams explode in flash animation, UFOs rise above the Three Gorges Dam project, everyday banalities mix alchemically with the glimmering seductions of popular culture. Jia's is a cinema of contradictions, of fact against fiction, of bitter memory against the utopias of post-socialism. But most of all, it's defiantly a cinema of the present — not a forecast of the glories of the China to come, but an ode to a »

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