Perhaps Jia is trying to prove the point that the future has already arrived. Or perhaps he is suggesting that the truth is stranger than science fiction. This is today's China: Anything is possible.
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Despite all this desolation and depression, however, Still Life is an extremely beautiful movie.
Has almost zero plot but molto mood. It will appeal to the most faithful of the director's camp-followers and no one else.
As usual, Jia's people tend toward the opaque--one of the movie's most enthusiastic conversations is conducted with ringtones. But his compositions have their own eloquence. Everything's despoiled and yet--as rendered in cinematographer Yu Lik-wai's rich, impossibly crisp HD images--everything is beautiful.
There is no turning back; the biggest project in China since the Great Wall and the Grand Canal has claimed its human cost and now must prove its own worth. -
This 2006 drama may seem to be worlds apart from the surreal theme-park setting of Jia's previous film, "The World," but there are similarities of theme, style, scale, and tone: social and romantic alienation in a monumental setting, a daring poetic mix of realism and lyrical fantasy, and an uncanny sense of where our planet is drifting.
Few of China's Sixth Generation filmmakers have turned to their country's explosive economic growth and its attendant upheavals with so sharp an eye and so heavy a heart as Jia Zhang-ke.
More than a million people have been displaced in central China in the cause of generating electrical power to meet the needs of the future; Jia's flowing river of a picture washes over a few of them as they adjust to life's currents in the present.
A modern master of postmodern discontent, Jia Zhang-ke is among the most strikingly gifted filmmakers working today whom you have probably never heard of.
The first great film of the year. It’s beautiful but so much more—full of subtle feeling, framed by a monstrous, eroding landscape.