DVD The World [DVD] (DVD 52433),
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The World [DVD]

  • NR
  • DVD
  • 1 disc
  • Region 1 USA/CA (info)
  • THE WORLD is writer-director Jia Zhang Ke's first "above ground" film, made with the cooperation of China's film bureau, following his previous trio of well-regarded independent works (PICKPOCKET, PLATFORM, and UNKNOWN PLEASURES), which were all banned in his native country. Moving the setting from the northern provinces where he grew up to the big city of Beijing, Jia tells the story of people who come to the Chinese capital searching for a better life--but they don't always find it. Zhao Tao stars as Tao, a young woman who works at the World Park, a real theme park made up of small recreations of major world cities and landmarks, including New York, Paris, Tokyo, and London, featuring the Egyptian Pyramids, Big Ben, Stonehenge, the World Trade Center, and, especially, the Eiffel Tower, where many scenes take place. Tao wears flashy costumes when dancing in front of the Taj Mahal, but she is missing something from her life and begins searching deep inside herself after becoming friends with a Russian woman. Tao's boyfriend, Chen (Chen Taisheng), a security guard at the park, is fed up with her mood swings and starts a flirtatious relationship with Qun (Wang Yigun), a fashion designer who makes illegal knock-offs. In another subplot of the film, a relationship between Wei (Jing Jue) and Niu (Jiang Zhongwei) threatens to explode. By filming THE WORLD in the actual park, Jia is able to reveal that the problems of his characters relate to the whole world, not just to China. He also investigates the need for people to communicate better when he animates several scenes involving cell phones into colorful cartoons.

    This film screened in October 2004 as part of the 42nd New York Film Festival organized by the Film Society of Lincoln Center.
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  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): Z1074

  • Credits
    Tao Zhao, Wang Yiqun, Wang Hongwei, Liang Jingtong, Xiang Wan, Liu Juan, Jia Zhang Ke, Masayuki Mori, Chen Taisheng, Jing Zha
  • Critic Reviews
    "This quietly despairing vision comes equipped with an ethnographic attention to detail..."
    New York Times

    Included in Entertainment Weekly's Top Ten Films Of The Year -- "[A] deliciously heartbreaking, deadpan parable about cultural dislocation and the discontents of Westernization in present-day China..."
    Entertainment Weekly

    "[A] metaphorical film that, wittingly or not, actually lives up to its title. The film is like a global newspaper reporting on the current state of the planet..."
    Sight and Sound

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