Interview: Director Jia Zhangke on technology, relationships, and the Pet Shop Boys

A small man, unassuming and often rumpled, writer-director Jia Zhangke doesn’t look like someone who’s out to shake up much of anything, let alone a country’s view of itself and its place in the world. But since the start of the century, Jia has emerged as the most internationally prominent and celebrated figure of the so-called sixth generation of Chinese filmmakers. At once sensitive and patient to the specifically local and generational, and concerned with larger questions of what it means to live in a globalized world, Jia’s movies are some of the medium’s most striking and complex portrayals of 21st century life, in China or anywhere.

His latest, Mountains May Depart, is one of his most ambitious projects. Like his last feature, A Touch Of Sin, one of The A.V. Club‘s favorite movies of the decade so far, Mountains May Depart is …

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