Are there lots of Asian films in the news, or is it my tunnel vision? I’ll let you decide.
Jia Zhangke has pulled off a surprise win of the top prize in Venice this past weekend. Jia’s Still Life won the Golden Lion as a late entry in this year’s Venice Film Festival. The film, with the Chinese title of San Xia Hao Ren 三峡好人 (literally The Good People of the Three Gorges’) is obviously a fictional counterpart to his documentary Dong which spends part of the time following painter Liu Xiao Dong in the Three Gorges town of Fengjie, where Still Life is also set.
Jia Zhangke is a moving force behind Mainland Chinese film’s so-called Sixth Generation. While his first three films, Xiao Wu, Platform and Unknown Pleasures received overwhelming critical acclaim, opinions of his fourth film The World and early reviews of Still Life have not been so kind. Has Jia changed or audience expectations? I wonder.