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Still Life

Still Life

2006
Romance
Drama
1h 51m
Coalminer Han Sanming comes from Fengyang in Shanxi to the Three Gorges town Fengjie to look for his ex-wife whom he has not seen for 16 years... (imdb)
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Still Life

2006
Romance
Drama
1h 51m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 65.95% from 419 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(418)
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Rated 14 Jul 2012
64
60th
A film about landscape. The shores of the Yangtze being inundated by the Three Gorges, the irrevocable loss of the past. Cities being demolished, giant piles of rubble. The characters seem like parts of this fluid and unstable geology. The relationships are every bit as unstable, giving no one anything, no ties, no authority to hold onto.
Rated 06 Mar 2010
65
40th
Beautifully filmed but characteristically stultifying effort from Jia Zhang-ke about a displaced man looking for his wife after a dam has wiped out his hometown. If... dialogue... scenes... could... just... proceed... at... a... reasonable... pace... we... might... have... something... here.
Rated 29 Jul 2009
87
73rd
The aliens were silly and mar what would have otherwise been a masterpiece.
Rated 01 Jul 2007
74
64th
A nice social study about industralisation in China and the impact of the exploding economy on society. There are some amazing shots in this film, and it shows China in its most depressing way. But besides that, it sometimes also feels forced.
Rated 31 Oct 2022
9
86th
Demolished buildings and demolished lives, in a beautiful hard landscape
Rated 21 Feb 2022
82
65th
Flashes of greatness - the exchanging of currency to show another a nostalgic window to their roots. The animation in The World has been replaced with the aliens in this; a stylistic exclamation point in a film full of ellipses. Feels out of place. I enjoy the possibilities of the narrative structure and, again, the setting seemingly dictates all else (characterization, pacing, editing, sound, literally everything). I appreciate the intimate scale with its contextual backdrop.
Rated 07 Feb 2008
75
71st
On the surface it is a story of two different people (a coal miner and a nurse), both from Shanxi, who come to the Three Gorges in Fengjie, looking for their ex-wife and husband respectively. Their stories have a very slow pace which highly contrasts the rapid changes that are taking place in the town. In fact, those changes play the leading role in the movie. The two main characters, are there, just two show, how they affect the lives of ordinary people. As far as I know the picture is accurate
Rated 17 May 2010
6
95th
Seamlessly blends the mundane with significant themes and low-voiced, emotive force. Jia has most certainly developed his craft into something here.
Rated 17 May 2011
75
50th
This is real China. Still Life's stunning depiction of this region will prove to be a valuable resource in 10 - 15 years when the region and China have completely changed. It better captures the social, political, cultural, and geography of the region than any documentary I have seen. Not a spell-binding drama by any means, but a valuable resource nonetheless.
Rated 07 Nov 2010
84
77th
Contemplative film about a transforming society. The visuals are sometimes rough but it fits the content extremely well and while the film moves slowly the content is interesting enough to keep thing moving, though I'll admit I did get restless occasionally.
Rated 24 Aug 2017
80
67th
Much like the protagonist, the movie is very precise and deliberate. Slow and dreamlike pace, accompanied by magnificient still landscapes, adds to the surreal vibe, while harsh realities of China's industrialization create very raw and organic setting. Close to perfect, but sometimes the movie gets carried away.
Rated 19 Jan 2013
11
93rd
Long and slow. Despite that, I really enjoyed it. It grows on you quite unexpectedly.
Rated 23 Apr 2010
80
67th
Visually this movie is just stunning. As others have said, the magic realism is really amazing. But I just felt like the pacing was off and so my mind drifted off to other, non-movie related places, a few times. Still though, there are a lot of really memorable images in it and that's more than enough to recommend it. Aside from the cinematography, the acting and script is all good but not especially great.
Rated 18 Jan 2013
90
90th
Sprinklings of magic realism look to the potential futures ahead of China as the country stumbles through industrialisation and modernisation and faces the same crossroads all industrialising countries are bound to come to - towards technological advancement or self-destruction? This metaphor is never more clear than in the stunning closing frame to the film where we see a man walking along a wire between two buildings - as he progresses he risks falling yet it is too late to turn back.
Rated 26 Mar 2011
25
31st
i was bored and the actors looked bored
Rated 16 Jul 2013
5
73rd
battered, full of catharsis, it bears the great weight of time on its shoulders; fengjie necessarily bustles ever onward in the growing shadow of what once was, its routines preserved in the mist even as buildings crumble and the water devours from below. flashes of magic-realism enhance the landscape's resonance further, speaking of the distant future and the distant past, hope and atrophy bound into one fleeting, fluctuating unity. can overstate its case a tad though.
Rated 20 Feb 2016
18
96th
Star Rating: ★★★★★
Rated 06 Aug 2021
80
70th
8????????????????????
Rated 11 Jul 2009
88
91st
Jia divides the film into four sections named after an object often used to bridge gaps between people (Cigarette, Tea, Liquor, Sweets). But the lives in this story are anything but still, they seem to be in perpetual upheaval. Jia populates the film with a variety of interesting or modernist touches: a fusebox suddenly sparking, juxtapositions of modern and traditional, et cetera. My interest wavered a bit from time to time but in the end I really liked a lot.
Rated 17 Nov 2011
35
90th
"Jia Zhangke has an uncanny knack for grounding his portraits of Chinese alienation in settings that are at once schematically allegorical and tangibly lived-in." - Fernando F. Croce
Rated 25 Mar 2008
10
0th
The story could be so interesting because a village is under water due to Three Gorges Hydro power. However its so slow and with worthless scenes that the story can't move on.
Rated 24 May 2012
50
28th
I feel the director doesn't have a great understanding of the film's subject matter, and the story seems bland to me as a result. Nice cinéma vérité style though I guess.
Rated 13 Jan 2009
85
84th
The assured cinematography and cautious pacing suggests everything in this pensive film. The dialogue is inessential; the images of people sitting and walking - and that of buildings falling - are evocative and (yet) somehow alien in their determinacy and reposefulness. Firm in shape and elegiac in tone, the film ooze of finesse and tenderness...
Rated 14 Jul 2022
72
48th
Somber story of two people searching for their estranged spouses in Fengjie, which is in the process of being demolished to accommodate a Dam. The performances are good and it keeps us in suspense about why they want to find their estranged spouses. The true star here is the setting, though, which is unforgettable. It's something else seeing a movie set in the middle of a city that is literally being torn apart stone by stone after 2300 years, with building demolitions and all.
Rated 27 Jan 2009
98
98th
Still Life is a film of contrasts--life and death, change and stasis, breaking down and putting back together. Jia's assured and contemplative camera highlights the violent upheaval taking place in the city, but masks that taking place in the lives of the principal characters. The images are often stunning in their beauty, and in the last twenty minutes, approach the sublime. This is the best "new movie" I've seen in about two years. Amazing.
Rated 20 Nov 2013
17
91st
There's a lot going on in this movie and it deserves to be watched more than once. Reminds me of Tsai Ming Liang. Also, aliens!
Rated 09 Nov 2013
90
59th
The slow paced, realistic, movie of developing, changing China; families and their troubles.

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