Blurring Reality’s Edge in Fluid China – Dennis Lim

Another review of Jia Zhangke’s Still Life, which just opened in New York, from the New York Times:

20Lim600.1A meticulous record of a vanishing world — Mr. Jia’s cinematographer, Yu Lik-wai, surveys the wreckage with slow panning shots that evoke the horizontal expanse of Chinese scroll paintings — “Still Life” is an act of commemoration and of stoic protest. “I don’t start from a political standpoint,” Mr. Jia said. “But if you make a film about China right now, you have to talk about the politics and the changes that are affecting people.”

Convulsive change is the norm in capitalist China, and since it is also the subject of Mr. Jia’s films, he said, “I sometimes feel I’m racing against time.” At 37 he has amassed a body of work — seven feature-length fiction films and documentaries — that is remarkable for its formal ambition, ethnographic richness and moral weight. [Full text]

[Image: Zhao Tao in Jia Zhang-ke’s “Still Life,” via the New York Times]

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