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24 City

3.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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(Jan 12, 2010)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A masterful film from Jia Zhang-ke, the renowned director of Still Life and The World, 24 City chronicles the dramatic closing of a once-prosperous state-owned aeronautics factory in Chengdu, a city in Southwest China, and its conversion into a sprawling luxury apartment complex. Bursting with poetry, pop songs and striking visual detail, the film weaves together unforgettable stories from three generations of workers some real, some played by actors (including Joan Chen) into a vivid portrait of the human struggle behind China s economic miracle.

SPECIAL FEATURES
- Mastered from original HD Source Material
- Cry Me A River (20 minutes), short film by Jia Zhang-ke
- Film critic Scott Foundas interviews Jia Zhang-ke (46 minutes)
- Theatrical Trailer
- 5.1 Soundtrack
- Essay by film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum

Review

The most important filmmaker in the world. When you see the earth from outer space, it's said, the only visible human artifact is the Great Wall of China. When the early twenty-first century is someday viewed from a comparable distance, the main artifacts to be seen may be the films of Jia Zhangke. --Stuart Klawans, THE NATION

Often amazing and intricately structured... Without nostalgia but with sensitivity and depth of feeling, Mr. Jia is documenting a country and several generations that are disappearing before the world s eyes... Mr. Jia is one of the most original filmmakers working today, creating movies about a country that seems like a sequel. --Manohla Dargis, THE NEW YORK TIMES

Surprisingly engrossing. --V.A. Musetto, NEW YORK POST

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Joan Chen
  • Directors: Jia Zhang-ke
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Surround Sound, Widescreen
  • Language: Chinese
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Cinema Guild
  • DVD Release Date: January 12, 2010
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002VGFX9E
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #109,775 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Nate TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 6, 2009
Format: DVD
The films of the Chinese independent filmmaker Jia Zhang Ke (Still Life, Unknown Pleasures) have always blurred the line between documentary and fiction, but never more so than in 24 City. The occasion for the film is the demolition of a once bustling state-run munitions factory in Chengdu to make way for a high rise apartment complex. The film documents the stages on the way to demolition and development, and ties each stage to a chronological series of interviews with people whose lives were connected to the factory, from its early days in the '50s to its heyday in the '60s and the '70s and its subsequent decline in the '80s and the '90s with the thawing of the cold war and the growth of Western-style capitalism in China. The result is both a powerful depiction of the effects of modernization in China, and an oral history that covers three generations, from those who spent their lives as workers in a time when factory work carried some prestige and national pride, to those who followed in the footsteps of their parents only to be laid off as the work in the factory became unprofitable, to a younger generation that recognized quickly that life in the factory was a dead end and sought education and employment elsewhere. The images are powerful - artfully composed and poignant - and the period music that accompanies some of the moments captures very precisely the feeling of each era.Read more ›
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Format: DVD
Sometimes, one scene makes an entire show click. In 24 City, this moment for me was when a buyer for wealthy ladies in Chengdu, China acknowledges that she will survive because she is the daughter of factory workers. Born in the 1980s, Zhao Tao is one of the final characters we meet in this poetic take on how China is shifting.

24 City focuses on stories from three generations of residents in an area formerly known as Factory 420. In a subtle mix of documentary and fiction film-making, director Jia Zhang-ke handles his subjects carefully, akin to a portrait artist, focusing on memories of migration and the lines around the lips. Quotes from Irish writer W.B. Yeats along with music from Chinese red songs, orchestral strings and Japanese enka add to this peculiar yet strangely comforting film about the transition of an aeronautical factory into a luxury high-rise complex.

As I watched the film, I thought of the stories buildings contain. Once these places are demolished, do memories become rubble to be swept away?
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Format: DVD
Jia Zhange is famed for using documentary techniques in his film-making.In 24 City he blends fact and fiction.The film is set in Chengdu,Sichuan Province,where a large industrial site,Factory 420,50 years old,used to manufacture aircraft and weaponry in the past,has been sold to a developer,who will demolish and replace it with a vast residential business and shopping complex,24 City.Built in 1958 as a product of Mao's policies to move `front-line' industries inland to mountainous and rural areas.We get 3 generations of people.

60%(4000) of the staff,north-easterners, were forced to relocate.24 City is made up of interviews with 5 workers, who share their real life experiences with us,and fictional,scripted monologues by 3 women.Jia found this the best way of representing the last half century of Chinese history.He is representing memory,the hardships brought about by the shift from Communism to Capitalism.He focuses on the impact of the changes on individual lives.Most of the running time is given to 8 interviews with local people,6 of them past or present workers in the factory and 2 of them adult children of factory workers.In the 1980s the factory diversified into manufacturing white goods, fridges,washing machines to boost its income,post-Mao,post-planning profits.Worn down tools were once resharpened, now everything is disposable.He Xicun adumbrates his former mentor's(Lao Wang)values:waste not,want not.

The two actresses(Lu Liping and Joan Chen)play women who have sacrificed a lot,the former lost a child to take up her work assignment,the latter faced a lifetime of romantic disappointments because she put her image and career ahead of personal happiness.There are those with a distaste for factory work who capitulate to China's glossy new values.
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