2. Xiao Shan Going Home along with Pickpocket and Platform, take place in Fenyang—Jia’s hometown. All three of these films also use the actor Wang Hongwei for the main character. Xiaoping Lin in his article “Jia Zhangke’s Cinematic Trilogy: A Journey Across the Ruins of Post-Mao China” reads Xiao Shan Going Home as part of the trilogy, whereas later secondary sources see Pickpocket, Platform, and Unknown Pleasures as a trilogy of his independent film career.
3. Jia Zhangke will admit later on that although he was not immediately conscious of it at the time, he realized later that the work was heavily influenced by two films that he had immensely enjoyed: Robert Bresson’s Pickpocket (1959) and Vittorio De Sica’s Bicycle Thieves (1948) (Berry 40).
4. The significance of chai as signifier of demolition as it pertains to the film Still Life will be further discussed in this article in regards to the notion of home vs. homelessness.
5. For example, Jia is impressed that this technology has been adopted by established directors of the French New Wave such as Agnès Varda and Eric Rohmer whose respective films The Gleaners and I (2000) and The Lady and the Duke (2001) were projected in China via the French embassy (“Le Cinéma Français en Chine” 99).
6. For an interesting look at how mobile phones add intertextual layers to Jia Zhangke’s films, see Michael Fitzhenry’s article “China Art by Phone: Mobile Movies.” [return to page 2]
7. An entire study could be done just documenting the various songs (popular Chinese, popular Western, state-sponsored, operatic, etc.) in Jia’s film. Michael Berry’s book Jia Zhangke's 'Hometown Trilogy' : Xiao Wu, Platform, Unknown Pleasures does an excellent job of documenting all influences, not just musical, that operate in Jia’s works. Similarly Kin-Yan Szeto’s article “A Moist Heart: Love, Politics and China’s Neoliberal Transition in the Films of Jia Zhangke” as well as Tonglin Lu’s “Music and Noise: Independent Film and Globalization” explicates much of the theoretical importance of prominent popular songs in his films.
8. Jia Zhangke’s next film 24 City will further play with this dichotomy. The film documents the destruction of a Mao era airplane factory to make way for a high-rise. The film documents the individual stories of those involved with the factory, but half of the interviewees are real workers and the other half are actors. [return to page 3]
9. The title of the film Dong means “East” and is also in Liu Xiaodong’s name.
10. As McGrath points out, the boundary between truth and fiction are even blurred once again when it is taken into account that Han Sanming is also Jia Zhangke’s cousin named Han Sanming. He is a non-professional actor that has appeared in several of Jia’s works. In real life he worked as a coalminer in Shanxi province (“The Cinema of Displacement” 45).
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