Directors Jia Zhang-ke and Walter Salles share a similar approach to cinema. At the Berlinale in 1998 both men presented the films that were to make them major proponents of international auteur cinema. Xiao Wu and Central do Brasil were both filmed in original locations, and both films describe ordinary people trying to survive the brutality of their daily lives in a time of great upheaval. 'I wanted to use the camera to reveal these people’s dignity', claims Jia Zhang-ke at the beginning of Walter Salles’ documentary. Salles accompanies his Chinese colleague as he returns to the locations of his films and also visits the places where he grew up. A twofold journey through time begins. When Jia Zhang-ke walks down the streets of Xiao Wu with an actor friend, they ask themselves where all the tiny karaoke shops have gone that they used to visit as young men. The travelling players’ theatre from Platform is now missing a roof it seems. Jia Zhang-ke, um homem de Fenyang shows the radical changes in a country where one of the great filmmakers of our time created his work.
- Zao Tao
- Jia Zhangke
- Inti Briones
- Joana Collier
- MK2 FILMS
Jia is simply one of the best and most important directors in the world.
A moving piece certainely bound for a sustained and successful journey on the film festival circuit.
Intelligent and warmly intimate.
A moving documentary exploring just why Jia's tales of ordinary Chinese people resonate so powerfully across the globe.
Jia Zhangke scales new heights with futurist drama... Exhilarating.
Jia Zhangke could well depart with an award at Cannes... Opening and closing sequences shot to the Pet Shop Boys’ classic Go West are arresting.
What you hope for from a film is to allow spectators to live through an experience that might somehow affect you, or affect other people, and they will think about it. That is something that a film should do.
Salles (Brazil, 1956) attended the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. After a number of TV projects, he made the feature film FOREIGN LAND (1995), which was acclaimed in Brazil and was screened and numerous film festivals around the world. His next film was CENTRAL STATION (1998), which earned Oscar nominations for Best Actress (Fernanda Montenegro) and Best Foreign Language Film. After O PRIMEIRO DIA (1998) and BEHIND THE SUN (2001), he directed his biggest international hit, THE MOTORCYCLE DIARIES (2004), about a young Che Guevara. The Spanish-language biopic was also the director's first non-Portuguese film. In 2005, he helmed his first Hollywood project, the supernatural thriller DARK WATER starring Jennifer Connelly. He also wrote and directed LINHA DE PASSE (2008, Best Actress honors at Cannes for Sandra Corveloni) and ON THE ROAD, starring Kristen Stewart, Garrett Hedlund and Sam Riley.