World, The (Contemporary World Cinema)
2004 - China - 143 minutes
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DIRECTOR: JIA Zhang-ke
CAST: ZHAO Tao, CHEN Taisheng, JING Jue
The spectacular opening shots of JIA’s fourth feature establish a world at once recognizable and strange. Chinese dancers work their way through cavernous dressing rooms while donning outfits that meet halfway between Las Vegas and Bombay. The setting is suburban Beijing’s World Park, a collection of green spaces, simulated world landmarks, and photo opportunities sequestered from the city. Dancer Tao and security guard Taisheng fall in love, fight, and seek fulfillment amongst miniature replicas of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the World Trade Towers, and Paris’ most recognizable wrought iron. The lovers grapple with sloppy human emotions in a perfectly fabricated, perfectly corrupt world. JIA offers a sumptuously shot, provocative portrait of a “New China” in which the divide between the façade of collective global/capital life and the souls of those that live behind that veneer become ever more fractured and contradictory. -EC Heralded as “the world’s greatest filmmaker under 40” by The Village Voice, Jia Zhang-Ke moves his fourth study of urban anomie to Beijing. His first three features, Unknown Pleasures, Platform, and Pickpocket confronted increasing modernization in Northern China. Born in 1970 in the northern province of Shanxi, he entered the realm of filmmaking in the mid-nineties, when he founded the Youth Experimental Film Group. He directed two award-winning videos, Going Home and Du Du, before making Pickpocket in 1997.
PRODUCER: ICHIYAMA Shozo, CHOW Keung
SCREENWRITER: JIA Zhang-ke
CINEMATOGRAPHER: YU Lik wai
EDITOR: KONG Jinglei
MUSIC: LIM Giong
PRINT SOURCE: Zeitgeist Films