Sunday, July 03, 2005


PAPA OOH MAO MAO

I think that one day in time and another aren't necessarily very different. In China we have a saying: “A day is as long as a year”. In fact a day might well be longer than a year, or a day could actually be a year.

Jia Zhang-Ke
Jia Zhang-Ke's Platform (2000) is a skewed take on modern China, never officially released in its home country. It's the strange, loose limbed tale of how the Fenyang Peasant Culture Group mutated into the All-Star Rock'n Break-Dance Electronic Band on the road to Outer Mongolia in the 1980s. Long takes force the viewer to experience the slow passage of time in sympathy with sad sack characters who seem more inspired by pop radio hits than the cult of Mao. His fly on the wall tableaus and subtle deadpan humor make him a filmmaker to watch. I'm looking forward to his new one, The World, which takes place in an real Epcot-like Chinese theme park. This differs from his earlier "underground" films in that it's partially state funded and government approved.