IMDb > Unknown Pleasures (2002)
Ren xiao yao
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Unknown Pleasures (2002) More at IMDbPro »Ren xiao yao (original title)

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Overview

User Rating:
7.0/10   1,457 votes »
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Release Date:
22 January 2003 (France) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
Two unemployed Chinese teenagers have trouble resisting the temptations of the Western world. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
2 wins & 2 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(3 articles)
Refn, Coppola on Cannes jury
 (From ScreenDaily. 28 April 2014, 3:35 AM, PDT)

Cannes 2013. Consistency In a Filmmaker's World: Jia Zhangke's "A Touch of Sin"
 (From MUBI. 16 May 2013, 12:45 PM, PDT)

Locarno fest honors Jia Zhang-ke
 (From The Hollywood Reporter. 8 June 2010, 5:00 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Malaise and despair amidst the changes of China. See more (16 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)
Wei Wei Zhao ... Bin Bin
Qiong Wu ... Xiao Ji

Tao Zhao ... Qiao Qiao
Qing Feng Zhou ... Yuan Yuan
Hongwei Wang ... Xiao Wu
Ru Bai ... Bin Bin's mother
Xi An Liu ... Xiao Ji's father
Shou Lin Xu ... Sister Zhu
Ren Ai Jun ... Hairdresser
Dao Xiao ... Mr. Ren
Zi Ying ... Concubine
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Zhubin Li ... Qiao San
Ai Jun Ren ... The Hairdresser
Limin Wang ... The Karaoke Customer (as Wang Li Min)

Zhangke Jia ... Man singing in street (uncredited)
Juan Antonio Samaranch ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Directed by
Zhangke Jia  (as ZhangKe Jia)
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Zhangke Jia 

Produced by
Keung Chow .... associate producer
Shôzô Ichiyama .... producer (as Shozo Ichiyama)
Kit Ming Li .... producer
Masayuki Mori .... executive producer
Fumiko Osaka .... associate producer
Hengameh Panahi .... executive producer
Yuji Sadai .... co-producer
Paul Yi .... executive producer
Nelson Yu Lik-wai .... associate producer
 
Cinematography by
Nelson Yu Lik-wai  (as Lik Wai Yu)
 
Film Editing by
Keung Chow 
 
Production Design by
Jing Dong Liang 
 
Art Direction by
Jing Dong Liang 
 
Sound Department
Bing Han .... sound editor
Yang Zhang .... sound
 
Editorial Department
Serge Anthony .... color grader
 

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Ren xiao yao" - South Korea (original title)
See more »
Runtime:
France:113 min (Cannes Film Festival) | Japan:112 min
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Filming Locations:
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Did You Know?

Trivia:
Mandarin title refers to a song by Richie RenSee more »
Movie Connections:
References The Mirror (1975)See more »

FAQ

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful.
Malaise and despair amidst the changes of China., 16 May 2008
Author: Robert_Woodward from United Kingdom

Unknown Pleasures portrays Bin Bin and Xiao Ji, two young Chinese men living in the city of Datong, several hundred miles west of Beijing. Theirs is a city in transition; crowded streets and apartment blocks back onto building sites, weird landscapes of debris and raw materials. The growing commercialisation of Chinese society is readily apparent; in an early scene the duo attend a lurid road show promotion for alcoholic drinks. The television news that punctuates the film shows the changes and conflicts in China and the effect these are having across the world, from the controversial US spy plane crash to the award of the Olympic games for 2008.

The two young protagonists are outsiders in their changing city. Bin Bin, newly unemployed, lives with his mother. Unwilling – then unable – to find new employment, he becomes increasingly despondent. His relationship with his girlfriend, Yuan Yuan, is lived out in front of a television screen: they rarely make eye contact. The cultural void in his life feels remarkably Western. Xiao Ji works for his father's garage business. Whilst Bin Bin becomes increasingly downcast, Xiao Ji dreamily pursues Xiao Wu, a dancer with the aforementioned road show, risking the anger of her volatile boyfriend.

The overlapping stories of the two friends develop a common theme of loneliness and yearning on the fringes of a rapidly changing society. The sense of despair and malaise in their lives is powerfully conveyed, but the increasing aimlessness of their activities makes for slow and often difficult viewing. The final third of the film is particularly slow, with many drawn-out scenes. Despite this slackening of the pace, an unexpected twist at the end rams home the film's message that, along with the new freedoms in China, there is disenchantment with the new shape of society.

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