Jia Zhangke's (Pickpocket, Unknown Pleasures, 24 City) currently banned A Touch of Sin recreated events he found on Weibo as the basis for the four narratives in his new film. He wanted to recreate these shocking events due to how they illuminated the current social state of China and how problems with corruption and the distribution of wealth can push people to do desperate and violent things.
The four violent incidents showcased in this film were downplayed by the mainstream media, but received millions of tweets on the web. Dazed released this interesting interview with the director about Weibo's influence on his award winning new film. Check out the full interview here.
What was it about these stories that'd been circulating on Weibo that made you want to weave them into a film?
In the past, mainstream media was always controlled and very strictly censored by the authorities, but this social networking media has encouraged the discussion of things that happen very locally – things that would never otherwise have been known to the outside world or even beyond small, localized provinces, as China is very populated and vast. In recent years I've been using Weibo. On this site I came across people widely discussing these kinds of spontaneous, violent events, which before I’d known nothing about – events that etched in my mind. I was very interested in what’s behind these stories – the human side of them. I also realised that what happened was very similar to some classic Chinese martial arts stories that we all know about. That inspired my approach to the cinematography, though I'm trying to express something of modern times. I wasn't sure about whether these kind of outbursts have always been frequent occurrences in China; whether they are just now being widely discussed because of the existence of Weibo.
This week at a press conference for Chinese media in Cannes, Zhangke revealed that he was at work on a new film set in contemporary China and a future Australia. The film tentatively titled Shan He Gu Ren (Mountain River Old Friend), will star his wife Zhao Tao and will follow a young couple in love from the 90's on to the year 2025.
Watch the trailer for A Touch of Sin below:
Stay entertained this week with these great events:
- Cinema Modernista Presents Nomad at Modernista on May 25
- Monstrous Mondays Presents At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul at Cafe 69 on May 26
- The Days a Documentary by Wei Xiaobo at Zajia Lab on May 28
Visit the original source and full text: the Beijinger Blog