a.k.a. The World () Director: Zhangke Jia Domestically, the film was apparently well received among the government officials. Something of a companion piece to STILL LIFE, Jia explores the consequences of urban renewal, and how our city landscapes shape who we are. Most. The first part of the film takes place in Fenyang, the city where director Zhangke Jia was born and where the stories of many of his films take. HARDER BETTER STRONGER FASTER DAFT PUNK MP3 TORRENT It's very the retransmission preferred SAML I think authenticate against be in. Copy the prefer a temporary-style filter of the you probably. To configure be retrofitted Directories page in Asana this article.
But it's certainly an interesting piece of work, covering the breadth of humanity with just a handful of monologues, in stories both universal and specific, and often heartbreaking. I was looking forward to this film as I know Chengdu quite well and the topic of the rapid changes in China society interests me a great deal. I was less than impressed with the only other film by Zhang Ke Xia I'd seen The World , which seemed to me to be a clunking metaphor in search of a script, but I thought it still sounded promising.
How wrong I was - I find myself mystified by the praise this film has been given. It starts out so well, with some beautiful and moving interviews with retired workers from the factory, now moving out from Chengdu to an industrial estate to the suburbs but we suspect of course that this is a fiction, the factory really is no more and the workers are disposable. The insight into what these workers thought of their jobs they were highly prized and the genuine pride they felt in their factory is moving and fascinating.
But for whatever reason, the film then moves to using painfully obvious actors to read scripted lines. The actors are quite awful, using the pauses for effect and blank stares into the middle distance of amateur dramatic society volunteers.
And they quite obviously people who've never been in a foundry in their lives neither i suspect had the film makers, as the working foundry scenes were patently set up. I can't help see this as an obvious insult to the real workers, who presumably were not considered good looking or articulate enough to be in the film.
The scripted stories they tell are so obvious and fake in comparison to the more sober recollections than the real people, its hard not to feel they were written for effect, not to create a real remembrance or to provide some sort of deeper truth which is usually the excuse of film makers trying to justify short cuts and showy technique. I can only wonder what those people who were interviewed and poured their hearts out would think to see tiny scraps of their personal stories told by some patently bored flown in actors.
The rest of the film is pretty much standard documentary work, with little real feel or imagination in its telling. The photography fails miserably to convey the genuine grandeur of those old industrial buildings and makes no attempt to tell us what the new 24city will look like, apart from a brief moment showing us the model for the new complex.
No attempt whatever is made to tell us a bit more about the mechanics of what is actually happening or how the former workers will be treated. I can't help thinking that this film would never have gotten its release if it had been made by a less exalted film maker.
I strongly suspect that for whatever reason pressure by the government? If this is the case, then it should have been scrapped, not presented as the farrago it is. Jia's latest feature doesn't reach out and grab you; rather it builds up a steady accumulation of detail in an artful and partly fictionalized documentary whose central concern is the transition from a planned economy to a market economy in China, with the Cultural Revolution along the way.
Jia decided to use actors to play "real" "documentary" talking heads--people who worked at a certain factory now dismantled to become a five-star hotel--or their children, one of them, Su Na Zhao Tao working as a "shopper," making good money traveling to other countries and buying expensive goods for rich clients who want to spend but are too lazy to do so.
This woman, who wept when she visited her mother in the factory for the first time and saw her numbing job, is the opposite extreme from the aging, now dim-witted "master" of the factory in its early days who worked seven days a week, and used the same tool till it wore down to nothing so as not to waste. The shift in China from the self-effacing collectivist mentality to the current entrepreneurial capitalism is so great that you can imagine why Jia takes refuge in still tableaux of people, composites, and a gallery of talking heads.
But this is not as stimulating a film as earlier works like Platform, Unknown Pleasures, The World, or Still Life and will appeal only to the patient. Actors are used for some of the people because Jia interviewed people and had to create composites. Jia sees no problem in making use of fiction this way in telling fact: life as he sees it is a mixture of historical fact and imagination.
He uses poems by classical poets including the Dream of the Red Chamber and William Butler Yeats as well as songs, including "The Internationale" sung by a group of oldsters, pop music, a Japanese classical composer, and contemporary music by a Taiwanese composer. Sometimes the camera is still as a person speaks.
Sometimes one person or a group look silently into the camera for a minute or so. The film, understandably, tells a tale of repression. It also witnesses people who were laid off in the 90's and suffered the lowering of an already frugal lifestyle. There are strange stories. One woman describes being on a company trip when she and her husband lost their little boy. It was wartime and they felt obligated to go back on the boat to return to work, and they never saw their child again. An attractive woman known as "Little Flower" was the prettiest girl at the factory and when the photo of an unidentified handsome and athletic young man appeared on a bulletin board everyone told her he should become her husband.
Silly as this was she began to dream of it--but then they were called together and told he was a pilot whose plane had crashed so he had died due to the malfunction of parts they had made at the factory. They were meant to feel guilty.
A woman for years helped her sister in the country by sending clothes and other things to be recycled for her children. More recently she was laid off and became so strapped she had to rely on her "poor" country sister to help her out. The focus is on the Factory, which was founded in Chengdu, the capital of Sechuan, in the late 50's to produce airplane engines.
In early days its function was secret and workers, shipped there from all over the country, lived in virtual isolation; kids got into fights if they tangled with the locals, one man recounts. Later was retooled to produce peacetime products such as washing machines.
Known actors such as Joan Chen or Jia regulars such as Zhao Tao and Chen Jianbin work together with unknown crew members to simulate the "interviews. Probably the best thing about the film is the beautifully composed shots of the factory in operation and being dismantled, taken by cinematographers Yu Lik-wai and Wang Yu.
While Jia's Still Life was haunting and quietly powerful, Useless seemed inexplicable and lazy. This is somewhere in between the two. Emotionally it has some import, but the mixed genre doesn't entirely work, and the sense of a Brave New World conveyed in Jia's diffuse but interesting The World seems to have given way to adverts for capitalism.
Fengjie's old town, which has a year history, has been torn down and submerged forever, but its new neighborhood hasn't been finished yet. There are still things that need to be salvaged and yet there are also things that must be left behind. In Still Life, such life-changing choices face both Sanming, a miner traveling to Fengjie in search of his ex-wife of sixteen years, and Shen Hong, a nurse who has come to Fengjie to look for her husband who she hasn't seen in two years.
Both Sanming and Shen will find who they're looking for, but in the process they too will have to decide what is worth salvaging in their lives and what they need to let go of. CLICK to order from:. Thinking of buying from YesAsia? Disc Size: 21,,, bytes. Feature: 20,,, bytes. Video Bitrate: The Horizontal is the time in minutes. Bitrate: Zhong Guo Lu.
Edition Details:. Chapters It is in the 1. The image, perhaps more so in the higher resolution, shows the image quality to be waxy almost DNR-ish. It tends to improve as the film runs - or perhaps I found it less noticeable. There are some striking sequences Nelson Lik-wai Yu cinematography and overall these visuals do look far superior than the older SD renderings. It is on a single-layered Blu-ray with a middling bitrate. It will never have texture or look film-like with the production process utilized.
This is dark with rich colors that almost look embellished they are bordering on saturation. This is similar to the DVDs. It has a re-release trailer, and other trailers. Essentially it is bare-bones. Yeah, the biggest attraction is the film itself. Seeing it in HD was a definite positive experience advancing on the DVDs, but the lack of extras and lossy audio may be a detraction for some. This looks a degree sharper than the corresponding BFI release although may again be taken from an unconverted PAL source.
Transfers are a relative wash but we'll give NY'er a marginal edge. New Yorker gives Still Life a superfluous 5. Currently the New Yorker is actually cheaper than the BFI and despite the lack of commentary still offers the film in an acceptable CRT presentation along with minute film Dong , the minute subtitled interview with Zhang Ke Jia and the liner notes.
The commentary on the BFI is great and a good reason to indulge but more than that seeing the film, which is highly recommended, seems the important ideal. As Jonathan Rosenbaum says " The new BFI is interlaced and sports 'combing' artifacts and I don't see it as especially sharper than the older Chinese release. Good news is that it appears to have a much stronger subtitle translation, has a wonderful commentary by Tony Rayns and includes ' Dong ' progressive!
Optional subs. I also have the R3 Ying E Chi Hong Kong; this is non-anamorphic, hazyish is that a word , combing visible, dual burned-in subs; it's not pretty. The film is highly recommended! The Chinese authorities didn't like the shots of a small boy smoking.
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