by Spank the Monkey
Thanks to the London Film Festival, I have a uniquely skewed perspective on the career of Chinese director Jia Zhang-Ke. I’ve seen two of his movies there – his 2004 drama The World, and his 2010 documentary I Wish I Knew – in what would turn out to be among the very few screenings they ever received in the UK. And I’ve even briefly been in the same room as the man himself, when in 2000 he attended an LFF panel on the challenges facing Asian independent filmmakers.
But his famous films – the ones that made his reputation, and actually got a proper cinema release over here – well, somehow those have eluded me over the years. So just in time for Christmas, Artificial Eye have repackaged the three films that introduced Jia Zhang-Ke to the world: the loosely-related collection that’s nowadays referred to as The Hometown Trilogy.