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dominic
21-07-2005, 08:29 AM
saw Chinese film entitled "The World" this evening -- directed by Jia Zhangke -- some interesting images but on the whole kinda boring -- anybody else seen this film?

even so, along w/ "Millenium Mambo" the film seems to be ushering in a kind of "Chinese film style" -- slow-moving, meditative, loosely connected plot, main protagonists are rootless and beautiful and young (late teens or early 20s) and modern, weird oscillations b/w hope and despair

(the far eastern film that i really rate from past couple years is a love story b/w a shy, fastidious, suicidal writer/librarian and a beautiful but really messy chainsmoker woman -- think it was either a thai or vietnamese production -- but can't recall name of film or director)

Omaar
21-07-2005, 10:43 AM
saw Chinese film entitled "The World" this evening -- directed by Jia Zhangke -- some interesting images but on the whole kinda boring -- anybody else seen this film?

I saw his film Platform (http://imdb.com/title/tt0258885/) a few years ago which I loved - slow moving, contemplating culture and history - However the only other person who I recommended it to didn't really dig it much at all if I recall [ ;) ] The ending is one of my favourites ever I reckon, though I don't want to give it away (not that it has anything to do with the plot - actually, it would sound really stupid and perhaps trite without the context of the rest of the movie anyway.)

Also I saw another film of his recently Unknown Pleasures which I didn't really enjoy as much (great theme song though, i think it's a cover of Richie Jen).

But no, haven't seen that one, would really like to ...


(the far eastern film that i really rate from past couple years is a love story b/w a shy, fastidious, suicidal writer/librarian and a beautiful but really messy chainsmoker woman -- think it was either a thai or vietnamese production -- but can't recall name of film or director)

That'd be Last life in ther universe (http://imdb.com/title/tt0345549/) . Yeah quite enjoyed that, nice to see a fellow librarian portrayed in cinema without at least some of the cliches too. didn't like the magic realism special effects moments though.

dominic
21-07-2005, 05:27 PM
That'd be Last life in the universe (http://imdb.com/title/tt0345549/) . Yeah quite enjoyed that, nice to see a fellow librarian portrayed in cinema without at least some of the cliches too. didn't like the magic realism special effects moments though.

that's it! -- thanks for the ID

i thought this film was really excellent -- may have to rent on dvd to refresh my memory

dominic
21-07-2005, 05:34 PM
merely confused -- sorry

dominic
23-07-2005, 06:17 PM
I The ending is one of my favourites ever I reckon, though I don't want to give it away (not that it has anything to do with the plot - actually, it would sound really stupid and perhaps trite without the context of the rest of the movie anyway.)

The World also has an ending that seemed arbitrary and kinda trite -- as though the director just threw his hands up and said we're done! -- i.e., film had crossed 120 minutes by that point -- but you could also argue poetic and fitting

The World is set in a theme park in Beijing that, while seeing the film, I thought was purely fictitious. However, it turns out that the theme park actually does exist, and the attractions at the park are replicas of the Pyramids, the Vatican, Eiffel Tower, Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Manhattan skyline (including the Twin Towers), London Bridge, etc, etc

Basically, all the performers and security guards at the theme park are from China's outer provinces. They're young, desperate, rootless, poor. Cut off from their families back home, cut off from the past. But also cut off from any real prospects for advancement in the new cruel world. All this new world has for them is the chance for some amusement (theme parks, night clubs, dancing shows, other young people), but much greater chances for suffering, poverty, arbitrary death. The only salvation is love, if such young and rootless people are capable of devotion to another.

So the film is serious. It's got a take on what's going on in today's China. And it's got lots of beautiful, surreal imagery. And very well acted.

Whether people will like it depends on, first, is the slow-moving, loosely connected plot simply boring or well-suited to what the director is trying to accomplish? -- and, second, does the director succeed in getting past obvious insights and arguments to the level of truth?

I'm not sure on either count. I was very tired when I saw the film, it was all i could do to keep my eyes open, and the movie theater was overly air conditioned, such that i was shivering if i wasn't nodding off.