Previously at the ICA - Films

Still: Wu Yong

Wu Yong (Useless)

20 Oct 2007

You'd have to classify Jia Zhangke's new film as 'documentary,' but that's not really what it feels like, and not only because it's so elegantly filmed. At heart it's a portrait of the woman fashion designer Ma Ke, who stands against almost everything to do with haute couture, and a record of her paradoxical triumph in Paris Fashion Week with the launch of her label Wu Yong (the name means 'Useless'). But Jia sets this portrait in an unexpected frame: an exploration of the lives and economic woes of people in China's post-industrial wastelands, especially those who make mass market clothes for western supermarkets. Ma wants to go back to nature with clothes that embody natural processes of growth and decay, while Jia tunes into the voices of the common people. It's a productive meeting of minds.

Screening with Our Ten Years Women de Shi Nian (Dir Jia Zhangke, Hong Kong 2007, 8 mins)

A train journey in Shanxi Province: poor passengers traverse a poor landscape. Ten years pass, and some things change...

Dir Jia Zhangke, China/France 2007, 80 mins

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