Written by: Michael Den Boer on August 11th, 2016
Theatrical Release Date: Brazil / France, 2014
Director: Walter Salles
Writers / Concept: Walter Salles, Jean-Michel Frodon
Cast: Jia Zhangke
DVD Release Date: July 12th, 2016
Approximate running times: 98 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 Mandarin
DVD Release: Kino Lorber
Region Encoding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $29.95
The man behind this documentary is Walter Salles a Brazilian filmmaker whose notable films as a director include, Central Station, Behind the Sun and The Motorcycle Diaries. And from a production stand point there is not an area where this film does not excel. With everything you ever wanted to know about Jia Zhangke and his films is contained herein this extraordinary documentary.
The narrative structure of this documentary is a satisfying balance of the man, the films he made and how locations featured in his films have changed over the years. With this last one being especially important since the bulk of his cinema focus on change and more precisely the change China has gone through as a country since the 1990’s. Also when it comes to the films that he had directed this documentary puts the spotlight on these four films, Platform, The World, Still Life and A Touch of Sin.
Overall Jia Zhang-ke: A Guy from Fenyang is an engrossing documentary that gives an in depth look into the life and films of Jia Zhang-ke, a Chinese filmmaker who is widely regarded as one of the most prominent filmmakers working in today’s cinema.
Kino Lorber presents Jia Zhang-ke: A Guy from Fenyang in an anamorphic widescreen that retains the film’s intended aspect ratio. Besides newly filmed interview which also look very good and details during these moments are always crisp. This documentary also features clips from films that were directed by Jia Zhangke and the quality of these clips varies.
This release comes with one audio option a Dolby Digital 5. 1mix in mandarin and removable English subtitles have also been included with this release. The audio sounds, clean, clear and balanced.
Extras for this release include, a trailer for the film (2 minutes 25 seconds, in Mandarin with English subtitles) and an interview filmed at New York Film Festival with director Walter Salles (44 minutes 15 seconds).
Topics discussed in the interview with Walter Salles include, how his relationship with director Jia Zhangke has evolved since first meeting him at the Berlin Film Festival in 1998, his cinema influences, what was the working relationship like with Jia Zhangke while making Jia Zhang-ke: A Guy from Fenyang, how many of the locations visited in the documentary have drastically changed since these locations were used in previous films directed by Jia Zhangke and his own filmmaking process.
Overall Jia Zhang-ke: A Guy from Fenyang gets a first rate release from Kino Lorber.