The World | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

Suggesting at different moments a backstage musical, a failed love story, a surreal comedy, and even a cartoon fantasy, this beautiful, corrosive, visionary masterpiece by Jia Zhang-ke (2004) is a frighteningly persuasive account of the current state of the planet. Set in an eerie Beijing theme park--a kind of Chinese Las Vegas, with scaled-down duplicates of the most famous global landmarks--it follows a bunch of workers as they labor, carouse, couple, and uncouple, but it's really about propping up extravagant illusions through alienated labor. Jia, only 35, is the most talented director, and one of the most respected, in mainland China--though this film is his first to get an official release there. In Mandarin and Shanxi dialect with subtitles. 139 min. (I will introduce the 4:20 PM Saturday screening and lead a discussion afterward.) Reviewed this week in Section 1. Music Box

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Jonathan Rosenbaum

Agenda Teaser

Performing Arts
Tempel Lipizzans Tempel Farms
June 19
Performing Arts
Bus Stop Athenaeum Theatre
July 19

Tabbed Event Search

Popular Stories