Jia Zhang Ke: retrospettiva completa al MOMA di New York

Jia Zhang Ke, il più straordinario cineasta cinese ed uno dei talenti più straordinari del cinema mondiale, a soli 40 anni è stato onorato dal MOMA di New York con uan retrospettiva completa dei suoi film.

Dal debutto di Xiao Wu-Pickpocket sino agli ultimi 24 City e Cry me a river, passando per il Leone d’oro di Still life, gli americani rendono omaggio a questo straordinario regista, capace di cogliere con grande libertà e coraggio i cambiamenti epocali della nazione cinese.

Sulla rivista The Atlantic si scrive di lui come del Martin Scorsese con gli occhi a mandorla, ma il suo stile visivo e la sua straordinaria cura per l’inquadratura, il paesaggio ed i personaggi,lo avvicinano molto di più al nostro Michelangelo Antonioni.

You could call it the Cultural Revolution: a Chinese filmmaker is changing the landscape of international cinema, producing what Martin Scorsese calls “the finest, toughest, most vitally alive work in modern moviemaking.” You could also call it the Quiet Revolution: if you don’t follow movie matters with Scorsese’s near-religious zeal, you’ve probably never heard of this cinematic powerhouse, let alone seen any of his films. The passionate praise invites a reasonable retort: who on earth is Jia Zhangke?

There’s never been a better time to find out. Jia’s films are increasingly available on DVD. And over the next two weeks New York’s Museum of Modern Art is screening the first complete U.S. retrospective of his work. This is a remarkable honor for a filmmaker barely 40 years of age. It’s also the first time in more than 20 years that MOMA has held such an event for a mainland Chinese filmmaker. Whether you love movies, or merely seek a better understanding of the world’s next superpower, Jia Zhangke is a name you need to know.

“I don’t start from a political standpoint,” Jia told the New York Times in 2008. “But if you make a film about China right now, you have to talk about the politics and the changes that are affecting people.”

But can Jia’s work stand up to a more formidable test—the attention span of the American moviegoer? With their long takes, long shots and minimal dialogue, his films may be challenging to audiences weaned on the frenzied cutting and butt-kicking heroes of Hollywood-style thrillers. Yet Jia’s films “will resonate and spark identification and compassion” among those seeking more than just escapism, says Jytte Jensen, the curator of MOMA’s Department of Film.

Though Jia’s work is becoming as synonymous with China as Scorsese’s is with the United States, his films illuminate global conditions and trends that impact us all. With the US still smarting from the recent economic meltdown, Jia’s portraits of drifting migrants, laid off factory hands and disillusioned teenagers may hold particular resonance for Stateside viewers. Whether you’re in Buffalo or Beijing, Detroit or Dalian, the films of Jia Zhangke offer a breathtaking panorama of a world in flux.

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