Posts Tagged ‘realism’

Still Life (Sanxia haoren, China-Hong Kong, 2006)

June 23, 2009

still life

Despite it’s quite inventive plot, Still Life is let down by it’s abysmal cinematography. It does however, provide an insight into the life around the Three Gorges Dam. The idea to include the rather bizarre CGI is questionable in the relevance to the storyline, and easily confuses the audience. The constant moving of the camera is quite different to Jia’s earlier work, and shows the constant changes taking place in the area in which the film is situated. Also, the inclusion of new technology (mobiles seen as an amazing thing) contrasting the beautiful landscapes which are seen to be deteriorating shows the transformation taking place in China.    – James Brown.

I did enjoy ‘Still Life’ dispite the odd and very confusing use of CGI. Some aspects of the film I didn’t understand straight away, such as the long pauses between speech, but then these pauses may be common in Chinese cinema or Jia Zhangke’s style of film. What I thought was good about ‘Still Life’ was that throughout the film we see the destruction of Fengjie, which is shown through the destrucion of buildings. This gives an insight into urban living in Fengjie, and China, shown through the destruction of peoples homes to make way for the Three Gorges Dam. Another insight into urban stories though this film is where we see Han Sanming scammed twice, once when he first arrives in Fengjie and then when he is given a ride to his old home by a man on a motorbike. This shows urban living by showing that some people will take advantage of others in hard times just to keep a living.           Michael Macfadyen

Still Life was praised critically dispite being such an odd film at times. It has a 92% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes which is very good. It was also accepted by Chinese autorities and released uncensored both in China and abroad, which is fairly rare for a film that depicts capitalism and destruction in China. I enjoyed the film and found some of it’s aspects intriguing, particularly the odd use of CGI that parallels the destruction of the once beautiful landscape.  I also found it interesting how the two main characters the film focusses on don’t actually have anything to do with each other in the end, which goes against our idea of what films will do with characters.
The High Definition camera work was initially hard to get used to and was very sharp, but I thought it added to the realism on the whole.     Alex Turner


— Still life is set on location and that plays a vital role thoughtout the film. its shot beautifully and is the sort of film that would leave many people puzzled. This film is highly realistic but the acting side of the film does leave me feeling annoyed. waiting long lengths of time for someone to talk. As the viewer, many more people would watch this film and immediatly link the characters together and this is because we are so used to it with british and american cinemas. However having this film from a different origin gives us an insight of how films are shot in other parts of world. Tyrone Michael