Little pocket thief Wu never got away from the streets like his friends did. He realises that he is alone, as his old buddy doesn't invite him for his wedding. When he falls in love with a ... See full summary »
A cook living in Beijing, whose employment is coming to an end, plans to return home to his rural village for the New Year. He approaches several of his old friends, also working in the ... See full summary »
China's greatest living filmmaker Jia Zhangke (Platform, The World) travels with acclaimed painter Liu Xiaodong from China to Thailand as they meet everyday workers in the throes of social ... See full summary »
An ancestral city; through its delicious botanical garden and its branched canals, we observe the clues and traces of its ancient culture. Two couples of men and women, former lovers, meet ... See full summary »
"The World" is a theme park on the outskirts of Beijing, sixteen kilometers from the Chinese capital, designed around scaled representations of the world's famous landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower or the Leaning Tower of Pisa.The site is seen here not from the visitors' point of view but through the eyes of a few of its staff, lonely people, communicating poorly, a bit disillusioned with life, glittering for the tourists but dull and restricted as far as they are concerned. We meet, among others, pretty young dancer Tao and Taisheng, a security guard who is fond of her but not of personal commitment...Written by
Visa d'exploitation en France : # 111851. See more »
[wedding guests propose a toast]
In honor of? History's great beauties... Yang Guifei, Pan Jinlian, Marilyn Monroe, Madonna! and all the beauties! For which cause? World peace, women's rights and faces without freckles!
See more »
While this film is radically different from Jia's earlier films it still packs the same cultural criticism wallop. A commentary on the urbanization of modern day China, Jia has moved into the slick world of government approved film-making without losing touch with the direction of his earlier films. It is tempting to watch the film superficially and dismiss it as a glossy state approved image. However, from my perspective, what is happening in the film is much more subtle; it is form of art-making that is particular to China and its authoritarian governing systems through history.
Practically speaking China has never enjoyed freedom of expression for its artists and writers. In order to get around censorship that came from absolute monarchies or dictatorships artists and writers would use subtle inter-textual messages. For instance, a line or radical would be left out a character to slightly change the meaning within the text. The head radical might be left out of a character describing the emperor to indicate the writers desire that the emperor be beheaded, or something along those lines. They were small enough messages that sympathizers would pick up on them, but a censor (censors usually not being the brightest or most creative people around) would miss it.
It is my opinion that Jia Zhangke is doing something along these lines with this film. It may not be as subtle as the messages have historically been, but a close reading clearly conveys something the government wouldn't be happy with. The Chinese government would like for the world to see them as metropolitan, glitzy, shiny, and new, so Jia, in this first film of his with government backing, uses cinema-scope, modern techno beats, computer animation and up-to-date electronics. But under the glitz is the reality screaming to get through the World Park facade. It is dirty and personal. There is prostitution, crime, and pirate copiers (maybe the theme here is modern Chinese society, as promoted by the government and big business, that is the pirated copy of the rest of the world). The subsistence living youth can all have cell phones, but for all their text messaging they don't seem to be able to communicate. Basically Jia seems to say that the Chinese youth are headed for a future of oblivion under the current direction of their country. It is hard to disagree with him. But at least he he leaves a morsel of hope in the end of it all.
22 of 25 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this