The poetics of the Real in Jia Zhangke's 24 City

Donald, Stephanie (2014) The poetics of the Real in Jia Zhangke's 24 City. Screen, 55 (2). pp. 267-275. ISSN 0036-9543

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The poetics of the Real in Jia Zhangke's 24 City

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In a series of films made after Shijie/The World in 2004 – Sanxia haoren/Still Life (2006), Dong (2006) and, most significantly, Er shi si cheng ji/24 City (2008) – Jia Zhangke has charted a vivid and personal engagement with internal migration, social change and class displacement in China since the Reform programme initiated by Deng Xiaoping in 1978. His films have consistently described the alienation of migration and urban encounters, and show how communities become fragile and fractal as a result of historical transitions being brutally under-resourced and employment being under-regulated1 Jia is also acutely aware of the economic ambitions that dictate the social infrastructures of everyday life: he identifies emerging class groups by distinguishing them from one another visually and aurally; he shows social behaviours that define the losses and gains of the new economy; above all, he reveals the violence that is wreaked on the poor through the conditions of their labour. The article refers to the animated Qingming scroll in its exploration of how Jia's work corresponds to China's political-aesthetic profile in the first decade of the 21st century.

Additional Information:The final published version of this article can be accessed online at
Keywords:Jia Zhangke, Chinese cinema, Qingming Scroll, Modern Chinese history and arts
Subjects:V Historical and Philosophical studies > V350 History of Art
P Mass Communications and Documentation > P303 Film studies
T Eastern, Asiatic, African, American and Australasian Languages, Literature and related subjects > T130 Chinese Society and Culture studies
Divisions:College of Arts > Lincoln School of Film & Media > Lincoln School of Film & Media (Film)
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ID Code:31950
Deposited On:29 Oct 2018 09:44

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