PRINT November 2007


Jia Zhang-ke

JIA ZHANG-KE IS the moving-picture poet of the Chinese “economic miracle” and of the alienation, surreal conjunctions, wrenching displacements, broken family ties, wild hopes, and unfulfilled expectations that have come in its wake. A “Sixth Generation” moviemaker, he has, at age thirty-seven, five fiction features to his credit, the first four of which—Pickpocket (1997), Platform (2000), Unknown Pleasures (2002), and The World (2004)—bore witness to the transformation of China over the past decade as it was happening and drew their energy, glamour, and pathos from the portrayal of youth. In Still Life (2006), his fifth, which arrives in American theaters this January, the major characters, like the director, are in their early middle age. They yearn to settle down, but the ground continues to be pulled—here, all but literally—from beneath their feet.

Still Life is set in Fengjie, a town

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.