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aries1988 : shanxi   5

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China's first female heritage architect Lin Huiyin (林徽因 1904 -1955) ) and an ancient Buddhist rock statue. The phot…
shanxi  sculpture  buddhism  belle  minguo  artefact  temple  photography 
december 2018 by aries1988
The Long Shot - The New Yorker
Jia is not much interested in plot. His attraction to film seems to owe more to the dictum of André Bazin, the French theorist whom he counts as an inspiration, that photography “embalms time.” Jia crams his movies with so many hair styles, pop songs, and news references that they feel like time capsules of the here and now. He has a single, unwavering theme: the liminal space in which individuals try, usually in vain, to move from one life to another—floating migrants, laid-off factory hands, restless teen-agers, all trapped on the margins of China’s boom, with enough technology to glimpse the wider world but no way to reach it. In Jia’s cosmology, trains usually speed out of sight before you can catch them and motorcycles break down.

His characters are often inspired by people he grew up with—friends, in his words, “as ignorant and coarse and full of vitality as roadside weeds.”

the movement made a searing impression on him. “Although it failed, it didn’t really fail,” he said, “because it took freedom and democracy, individualism, individual rights, all these concepts, and disseminated them to many people, including me.”

Jia immersed himself in films from Taiwan and Europe, often watching three a day. Those which he could not find in the school archives he found on the street, as pirated V.H.S. tapes. He often pedalled his bicycle across town to watch screenings at a French cultural center in Beijing.

In contrast to the epic historical Chinese dramas that were popular at the time, Jia had revealed a bitterly unadorned image of contemporary life and its discontents. To older Chinese admirers especially, the film’s honesty was bittersweet. “We had been forbidden from telling the truth for such a long time that once we were allowed to do so, we did not know how to tell the truth,” the painter Chen Danqing wrote of the film.

He felt powerless. “My motivation for making films was not simply a love of movies but also a sense of idealism, a hope that I could help to change society.”

In “Still Life,” a building launches into the air like a rocket, and a flying saucer zips across the sky. (As Jia has explained to a film magazine, China’s “official speeches and pictures are like U.F.O.s that never touch the ground.”)

“Not because they are kung-fu movies—I like kung-fu movies—but because the film underscores power, that we should ‘bow down’ before power! For ‘harmony in the world,’ we should give up individual fights and efforts. The ‘authority of power,’ the focus of his films, is what makes me extremely uncomfortable.”

“My expression, my view on history, my view on the truth must be independent,” he says, “but I tell myself not to get marginalized, because being marginalized means you can’t do anything. Marginalization can be a kind of pleasant stance—I really admire many of those people—but I would rather expend enormous energy trying to dance with the many levels of the era in which we live.”
reportage  bio  movie  chinese  china  leader  art  idea  people  nostalgia  countryside  shanxi 
june 2017 by aries1988

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