dir. Jia Zhangke

TIFF Cinematheque - Retrospective

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We are thrilled to present the full-length version of Jia Zhangke's second feature and first masterpiece, which was acclaimed worldwide as one of the best films of the 2000s.


We are thrilled to be able to screen the original, full-length version — on a rare 35mm print shown only once before in Toronto — of Jia Zhangke’s second feature and first masterpiece, recognized as the banner film of the Mainland’s Sixth Generation. Set in Jia’s hometown of Fenyang and spanning roughly a decade (from the late 1970s to the early nineties) during the era of post-Maoist reform on the Mainland, Platform focuses on a group of rural twentysomething performers who gradually transition from being a state-run troupe performing traditional folk music and Maoist anthems to a private outfit offering up desultory disco routines and punk-rock imitations. Depicting a society that seems to have passed from the pre- to the postmodern virtually overnight, Jia’s most autobiographical film (the director was himself a breakdancer in a troupe of travelling players as an adolescent) employs long takes and artfully arranged long-shot compositions to confront a country in rapid transition and raise vital questions of documentation, history and memory. Ruminative, rigorous and breathtaking, Platform is "One of the richest films of the past decade ... it’s Pop Art as history[.] Jia finds subtle ways to transform the world into a stage[:] the play of the proscenium against the filmmaker's taste for unmediated reality is fascinating" (J. Hoberman, The Village Voice).