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Xiao Wu (Pickpocket) (12*) + ScreenTalk with Morgan Quaintance and Xiaolu Guo

Cinema Restored

A man stands in front of a fruit stall with his arms folded across his chest.

A rare screening of Jia Zhangke’s debut feature Xiao Wu (Pickpocket), his realist drama, focusing on the shifting politics and attitudes of China at the cusp of a new century.

The film focuses on life in Fenyang, a rural town which the director hails from, and chooses as its central figure, Xiao Wu, an aimless wanderer, whose profession, gives the film it’s English title, and connects to Bresson’s classic of the same name. 

Much of the film centres around the idea of change, as the central figure, watches the large scale societal shifts China had embarked on, effect the small sleepy town he hails from. 

Made largely from non-actors with a miniscule budget, Xiao Wu seen today serves as an introduction to arguably one of the most important filmmakers of his generation.

汾阳的喧嚣: Ironic Resonance, Anti-sound Design and Radical Cacophony in Jia Zhangke’s 小 Xiao 武 Wu is a short book written by Morgan Quaintance. Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the screening.

Tagged with: Cinema ScreenTalks

1997, China, Jia Zhangke, 108 mins, DCP

Restored by The Film Foundation's World Cinema Project and Cineteca di Bologna at L'Immagine Ritrovata laboratory in collaboration with Jia Zhangke and in association with MK2. Restoration funding provided by the Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation.


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