The World of Jia Zhangke

Jean-Michel Frodon


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In the last 20 years, Chinese cinema has experienced a dazzling development, in phase with the growth of the country. No one embodies this evolution better than director Jia Zhang-ke whose cinema is distinguished by the modernity of his writing, fueled by the reinvention of the relationship between fiction and documentary, by the inventive use of new technologies, by the creativity of the relationship between the intimate and the collective on the scale of a country of one and a half billion inhabitants.

Cinema / Photography, Theory / History / Criticism
Jia's films are, in fact, and in the same movement, works of a great contemporary artist and sensitive testimonies of the gigantic mutations affecting China, and the whole world. Titles such as Platform, The World, Still Life, A Touch of Sin and The Mountains mark an aesthetic trajectory that is at once highly coherent and constantly renewed. They tell, from an original and relevant point of view, what is being invented in the 21st century. This book contains a long interview with the director about the places where he grew up, where he worked and where he shot, a historical text establishing Jia's place in Chinese cinema and in cinema today, a critical note devoted to each of his films, both features and shorts, enriched with several points of view including interviews with his main collaborators, and texts by Jia unpublished outside China, make this book the first to offer a comprehensive visibility and understanding of this filmmaker's work, and of its importance.

Jia Zhangke (1970) is a Chinese film director and screenwriter. He is generally regarded as a leading figure of the "Sixth Generation" movement of Chinese cinema.

264 pages
Hardback, 15.2x20.3 cm
The Film Desk, 1st edition 2021
ISBN 9780999468371