A2P Cinema 100 Films of the Aughts
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UNKNOWN PLEASURES
2002 - Jia Zhang Ke - China / South Korea / France / Japan
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There might not be a contemporary filmmaker who puts a reflection on the entire cultural global with more importance then China's Jia Zhang-ke. Unknown Pleasures is the third feature from Jia. One of his great abilities his masterful ability to capture what he is not showing you. Not only off-screen sounds (in which Jia uses influence from the great master of off-screen sounds, Robert Bresson), but off-screen visuals and emotions as well. In the case of this film it becomes a cultural expression or more notably the loss of culture. During an early scene in Unknown Pleasures finds an isolated parallel between a young generation and China's transition towards a globalized society. Ultimately the film becomes one of alienation and loss captured as early as the haunting early moments when a young man walks by a man standing in a dark singing to an empty room. This kind of filmmaking can be frustrating to viewers who may deem it "pointlessness", yet if you can connect with Jia's vision it becomes evident there is an important expressiveness to his films beyond the surface of what we see. There truly is a strong, painful yet beautiful insight to this film which may be my favorite of all Jia's work.
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