Xiao Wu (The Pickpocket) (2000)
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Audience Reviews for Xiao Wu (The Pickpocket)
excellent debut from the then underground zhang ke jia, one of the most original filmmakers working today. the story of a young thief who stubbornly refuses to change against the backdrop of huge changes in china's economy.
You will witness the birth of truly amazing and artistic born-to-be director Zhang-Ke Jia in this film. He does not only bring back the aesthetics of Italian neorealismo but also bring it to the next level in the perfect place and time for it - the modern rural China. It is almost like a film that shows up out of nowhere in this continuum of time, and thus, it reminds you primitive pleasure of watching cinema again. So passionate and powerful.
Jia's debut film acts as a sort of a prequel to Unknown Pleasures, as the loan shark in that film is the main character in this film. We follow the life of a smalltime pickpocket, his brief relationship with a karaoke girl, his disappointment with an old friend, and his relationship with his family. The multiple aspects of his identity clash and strip away each other until the true person is fully exposed in the end. Likewise the camera itself follows this same path. This can be seen when normal bystanders, not extras, can be seen staring at the main character and the camera at times in the film. This movie is made on a budget of about $6,000 and looks every bit like a low budget film. A very dense soundtrack complements the ugly DV, which realistically captures the grit and grim of run down buildings and filthy streets in Fengyang.
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