Saturday, September 8, 2007


Last year I saw this director's film Dong which followed a painter as he travelled to various parts of China -- including the Three Gorges Dam project. So I knew what I was getting in for: long takes, not much action, meaningless dialogue, no story.

I enjoyed this perfect movie for a film festival since it does not demand much of you ... just let the scenery wash over you ... and it gives you a chance to catch up on your sleep. The only documentary part of the movie was an interview with a Chinese designer who makes clothes and then buries them in the earth and then shows them off. (This last part happened while I was sleeping, but luckily I found out what happened from another festival goer while we were waiting for another film to start.)

But tell me this: how could you possibly recommend a movie in which at least fifteen minutes is taken up by shots of a man walking among coal fields with his torn pants in a plastic bag and his subsequent visit to a seamstress who fixes the pants for him while she is talking to her brother about family affairs and his comings and goings.

It's possible that the theme of this film is clothing, but I'm not sure.

Director: Jia Zhang-ke