Still Life (Sanxia Haoren) (2006)
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Critic Reviews for Still Life (Sanxia Haoren)
More than a million people have been displaced in central China in the cause of generating electrical power to meet the needs of the future; Jia's flowing river of a picture washes over a few of them as they adjust to life's currents in the present.
Simply one of the best films of last year, this year, or any year likely to come.
An extraordinary glimpse into the psychology, subtext and austere reality of modern Chinese culture.
Never has destruction looked more beautiful than the demolished buildings in Jia Zhang-ke's Still Life.
Writer-director Jia Zhangke is a keen observer of the effects of the break-neck modernization that is stampeding China toward a future that no one can predict, control, or contain.
Audience Reviews for Still Life (Sanxia Haoren)
Jia Zhangke's STILL LIFE is a prime example of the effectiveness of observational filmmaking and how the weight of the subject alone (and its themes) can not only propel but impact the drama forward. Although it seemingly presents two separate narratives following two different characters traversing a bleak but exquisitely framed developmental atmosphere (small villages directly affected by the Three Gorges Dam project that make for cinematic locations), the film unfolds with care and precision by never forcing dramatic elements and allowing the viewers to learn, feel, and decide as they go; both characters go about their way with a sense of clustered urgency as we learn the ways in which the society has impacted their personal lives, relationships, and families - we know and see just as much as we need to (a credit to a superbly tight script). This is a film that rewards the viewer once the credit rolls - allowing the punch to reveal itself gradually as the grounded, painful, and raw message sinks in. It is, in fact, a devastating realization, and likewise a great film, that is bolstered by Jia's patient approach, unintrusive cinematography and storytelling, and bold commentary on a specific aspect of his country's real-life issues.
a gorgeous minimalist meditation on the effects of the three gorges dam project on the ancient chinese civilization in the area, focusing on two keenly observed characters searching for lost relatives. quiet moving drama, the best i've seen from jia zhang ke yet
The Three Gorges Damn saga has produced some very interesting fictional and non fictional accounts particularly on the displaced people of China. For great Chinese cinema go elsewhere but this isn't a bad way to pass some time.
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