The Hedonists Screen 6 articles

The Hedonists

2016

The Hedonists Poster
  • The film can be considered a minor work since it doesn’t offer much of an update. That said, it’s also his most accessible and easily enjoyable – it’s certainly his funniest. More than anything, the film seems like an excuse for Jia and his regular crew to have fun trying out new things.

  • This is a bit like Jia Zhangke’s version of a Ken Loach comedy, and actually that’s not bad... As per the umpteen-thousand think pieces telling us that 2016 is the year cinema really, really dies, Jia seems to be poking fun at the looming threat of his own obsolescence.

  • Shooting almost entirely from a drone, Jia dabbles in Scorsese-esque tracking shots in interiors and in exteriors in the long, observational takes similar to those in his early films, except that they gradually take to the air. While such a technique could easily prove indulgent, the unexpected turns and flights, as well as the accompanying music cues, are as exhilarating as anything Jia has ever done, and provide ample reason to believe he will keep pushing himself.

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    Sight & Sound: Tony Rayns
    April 29, 2016 | June 2016 Issue (p. 15)

    A showstopper, a funny/sad tale of three unemployed miners – their faces will be familiar to fans of Jia's films – trying for ridiculous new jobs as bodyguards and theme-park actors.

  • The Hedonists is this elegant director in comic mode, believe it or not. The 26-minute short is a wicked satire... Jia treats each firing as dryly ironic rather than tragic, and like some silent comedy the three decide to team up to apply for different jobs.

  • Jia Zhangke’s twenty-five-minute “The Hedonists” is a featurette—a large-scale, wildly derisive, Chaplinesque vision of China’s economic and political woes... Jia daringly links China’s current regime to the country’s harsh feudal dynasties.

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