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Platform (2000)

Cast: Wang Hong Wei, Liang Jing Dong
Director: Jia Zhang-ke
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Studio: New Yorker Video
Genre: Drama, Foreign, Politics and Social Issues, Hong Kong, Quest, Road Movies
Running Time: 150 min.
Languages: Mandarin
Subtitles: English
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The political and social changes that swept China during the 1980s are reflected in the lives of a troupe of musicians in this drama from acclaimed Chinese director Jia Zhang-ke. In 1979, China is beginning to reinvent itself in the wake of the Cultural Revolution, and change is slowly but surely coming to Fenyang, a small town in the Shanxi province. The influences of the West (pop music, longer hair for men, television, privatization) and the adoption of more modern social conventions (birth control, co-habitation, the abandonment of the arranged marriage) begin to slowly manifest themselves in Fenyang, and two young people, Minliang (Wang Hong-wei) and Chang Jun (Liang Jing-dong), find their own lives beginning to change. Chang Jun becomes involved with Zhong Pin (Yang Tian-yi), and they decide to move in together, which is still against the law and earns them the enmity of their parents. Minliang, meanwhile, openly declares his affections to Ruijuan (Zhao Tao), who finds her own feelings about him carrying greater weight than her father's stern objections. The times also change for the musical group , as they shift from the state-sanctioned political material that had been their staple to Westernized pop music, but they find themselves in a no-man's-land, as there is little audience for either their old repertoire or their new material. Zhantai received its world premiere at the 2000 Venice Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Not another teen movie by cammelltoe January 31, 2006 - 4:38 PM PST
1 out of 2 members found this review helpful
Jia Zhang-ke is the freshest faced purveyour of what, for lack of a better term, we can call the "long-take" style in which the camera maintains a healthy distance from it's subjects, is uninterrupted by editing, and laughs at character-subjective "point of view" shots. Other torch bearers: Hou Hsiao-Hsien, Hirokazu Kore-eda, Michael Hanneke, Bruno Dumont. If any of those names remind you of good naps you've had at the local art cinema, "platform" is probably not your cup of tea. That said, this is, to date, undoubtedly Jia's masterpiece. Spanning ten years (mostly 1980's) on and about mainland china and incorporating the post-cultural revolution changes through the akward and funny adventures of a group of friends employed as entertainers, "platform" has that rare quality of being epic yet intimate. Jia's 'long-take' style is generous, resisting telling us where to look or when to feel. and lest you think this is 'serious' art, it is also shot through with a number of great musical numbers. The dealmaker is the presence of luminous muse Zhao Tao, whom i have no qualms about admitting that i am totally in love with after only seeing her in three films. highly recommended!

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 7.73)
22 Votes
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