The director's most painfully slow movie yet.
Stream 24 City
What are people saying?
What are critics saying?
Result is far more accessible than Jia's previous two pictures, with moments of genuine emotion by the real-life interviewees.
Jia Zhangke is one of the world's preeminent filmmakers, an essentially contemplative director whose considerable talent is further amplified by the significance of his material--namely, everyday life in the most dynamic economy on earth.
The new film, shot in vivid hi-def video, is part documentary and part fiction based on interviews; it uses on-camera interviews with workers, some played by themselves and some played by actors, to evoke a past of unimaginable toil, and suffering, in the service of the Communist state.
Beautiful and challenging documentary.
The actors in 24 City bring their own existential realities to their short, touching performances. In the end, the deep emotions they stir up -- the actress Lv Liping delivers a harrowing story about a lost child -- constitute another kind of monument to the workers of Factory 420.
The stories we hear in 24 City belong to its specific place, but they are universal.
Mostly, 24 City falls into the same Jia trap of inadvertently drawing the viewers' gaze past his human subjects and to the poetic images of a country in painful metamorphosis.
The result is surprisingly engrossing -- even lively, due in part to brief musical numbers inserted amid the interviews.