Monday, October 12, 2015

Jia Zhangke, A Guy from Fenyang (Walter Salles, 2015)

Director: Walter Salles; Brazil, 2015
Reviewed by Kiomars Vejdani

A film about a great director, made by another great. Walter Salles' documentary on Jia Zhangke is mainly made of conversation between the two filmmakers, while they visit various places from Zhangke's past life, including some of the locations used in his films. Tone of conversation is informal and friendly. Zhangke talks freely about his younger days and mischievous acts. He mentions his favourite films including some he remembers from his childhood (interestingly among them we see Raj Kapoor's Awara).  Further comments come from people in his life, including his wife and actress of his films Zhao Tao. The film gives an informative picture of Zhangke's world and the relationship between his life and his work. Walter Salles, treatment of his subject is intimate and friendly. But his affectionate respect for his follow filmmaker is felt throughout.

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