Wuyong (Useless) (2007)

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Movie Info

Three portraits of clothing: people who make them and people who wear them. A hot and humid day in Canton. Amid the thunderous noise of sewing machines, women work quietly under fluorescent lamps in a garment factory. The clothes they make will soon be shipped to unknown customers. Likewise, the future of each face along the assembly line is blurred. A wintry day in Paris. Chinese designer Ma Ke prepares her newly established brand "Wu Yong" to be launched in a spectacular show. An anti-fashion designer, she abhors assembly lines. The trademark of her majestic line is based on first burying the clothes in dirt to allow nature and time to put the finishing touches on her work. A dusty day in the mining area of Fenyang. A small tailor's shop is patronized by miners who come for repairs, alterations and lively chats.

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Critic Reviews for Wuyong (Useless)

All Critics (7) | Top Critics (2)

Zhangke eludes the genre's constraints to provide a revelatory documentary view of inner and outer life in contemporary China.

Jan 8, 2018 | Full Review…

A documentary that's no more than a string of images, Useless is pretty much that.

Sep 10, 2007 | Full Review…
Variety
Top Critic

But whether in Ma Ke's placid environs or amidst the squall of the machines, Jia's almost constantly moving camera seems to bring an elegiac tranquility to everything it observes.

Jun 17, 2013 | Full Review…

Jia's empathetic close-ups -- thanks to Yu Lik Wai's masterful HD cinematography -- ground the film's portrait in individual experience.

Dec 4, 2007 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

The love and craft that went into Jia's earlier films are also apparent in 'Useless,' but exactly what he is saying, is not.

Oct 20, 2007 | Full Review…

Useless is a shape-shifting work that overturns expectations at every turn and leaves behind an open-ended consideration of value -- of clothing, of human labor, of human life.

Sep 24, 2007 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

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