Beautiful Ugliness: The Aesthetics of Jia Zhangke's Film _Still Life_

I just showed the movie Still Life (sanxia haoren) by Chinese director Jia Zhangke to my Dartmouth FSP students.  The viewing conditions were not ideal.  I suggest to anyone who wishes to view this film that they do so in as dark a room as possible.  The film itself is very dark, and so are the people.  I mean visually dark, but there is also a darkness to the subject matter and the characters.  Be warned, this is not a happy film.

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