iNaked (Uncensored Collection)
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(Mar 21, 2011)
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An artist is looking for some nude models for his new art work that modeling real human bodies.
Unexpectedly the artist found out something crazy happening among him and nude models.
Directors/Writers: Liu Fei & Liu Yue (The Liu Brothers)
Released by Liu Pictures
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Top Customer Reviews
This great documentary-like movie has nothing to do with sex.
It's about about the hard life of migrant workers in Beijing -no fiction here-
and the censorship against graffiti artists ( the one we see on the cover photo made the news)
and the demolition of old buildings by speculators.
Worth seeing, if interested in China.
iNaked uses real events, a leading artist in the modern People's Republic of China played by himself, and one of his most famous sculptural exhibits to make direct comments on events in the PRC and on the fragility of life especially as lived by those on the financial edge. This is an art house type production. It seems roughly edited with blank screens and interruptions in the sound. Or these may all be deliberate effects. All of it has a crude feel, but also seems the more real for it. Acting is very low key with some delivery seeming too underplayed. Some of this may have do with Chinese film conventions, and my uncertain understanding of the director's intentions. The image of naked and nervous Chinese farmers huddled one at a time before a giant artistic rendering of Chairman Mao will no doubt launch 100's of film studies papers. Ultimately, I cannot give a full review of the artistic techniques of this movie.
That said; I enjoyed watching iNaked. The story is dramatic and told directly. I felt that I was watching real people some trying to act, rather than all actors some trying to be real people. There is little to prepare you for the final outcome. Mostly I enjoyed getting some sense of what modern China looks like as capitalism emerges. Capitalism is notoriously indifferent to the fates of people and that has to be part of the message of this movie.
Background, in historic order
The original Pygmalion is a sculptor who creates an ivory statue of a woman then falls in love with it. Aphrodite turns the statue into a real woman and the artist and statue-Galeta live happily ever after. George Bernard Shaw later updated the story to the one where in a professor teaches a poor flower seller, Eliza, to speak and act as a member of the gentry. Eliza, no longer fit for life on the streets and not funded to live as gentry becomes the responsibility of the professor. Fortunately they fall in love and all ends well.
In contemporary China, the lure of high paying jobs and the certainty of poverty in the villages has many people moving into Beijing. The capital had become so overcrowded with impoverished, itinerant workers (translated as transient farmers) that the city tried to limit this population to only those with a transient farmers residency permit. Failure to present this permit when demanded by the authorities meant imprisonment and expulsion.
Zhang Dali, a real artist (one of a very few ever on the cover of time magazine), played by the artist is sympathetic to these individuals and decides to make plastic casts of transient farmers as part of his statement on the vulnerability of these people. To emphasize how exposed these people are he has them pose naked. He hires a transient who is trying to earn enough money to pay for his acceptance at Beijing University. (This is a high honor, meaning that this person is a very above average student) to locate farmers willing to pose nude. The payment to each farmer who poses is many times more than the model could hope to earn in many times more days of work.
The European myth is nearly reversed.. This artist makes statues of live people then having given the living person a taste of money they are sent away to live out their slightly changed lives. For most of these models the future is not good.
iNaked is a good movie. It has an honest to life feel to it. The plot includes enough history to give the story greater poignancy. This said this is not a movie for everyone and it may not be one you will view often. The target audience should include "the art house crowd" and those with a particular interest in modern Capitalistic China. Then again capitalism everywhere is notoriously indifferent to the fate of individuals, and especially the poor.
gives subtance to this story.