Unknown Pleasures (Jia, 2002)

Jia thankfully favors rich characters over style in Unknown Pleasures, his love letter to youthful disconnect and romantic delusions. Not as formally pure as Platform or The World, Unknown Pleasures fancies night clubs, concerts, beer, gambling, loan sharks and the like, showing a bare bones and fascinating vision of developing China. Still, it’s extreme containment and jumps in narrative feel forced, a hipster mentality merging with art house aesthetics preaching to the faithful.

– More to come upon a second viewing.

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