Golden Lion winning director Jia Zhangke, whose new documentary Useless about clothing designer Ma Ke screened in Venice's Orizzonti, has revealed further details of his next dramatic feature, which he is planning to have ready in time for the Olympic Games.
The project (provisionally titled 24 Cities) follows four women working in a state-run aeroplane factory. When the factory closes, 30,000 people lose their jobs.
'Since the Olympics Games (in Beijing in 2008) is going to be a very important turning point in Chinese society, I would like to use my new movie to stress how Chinese people live and what they face,' the director told ScreenDaily.Com.
The new film is likely to provide a very different view of China than that which will be found in John Woo's historical epic Red Cliff, also being readied in time for the Olympics.
'I can understand the interest for ancient China,' Jia said of Red Cliff but added that he preferred to make his own films about 'the real China.'
Thanks to its Golden Lion, Jia's Still Life (set against the backcloth of the Three Gorges dam project) was given permission to be shown in China. The film (handled by Memento) also sold widely in the west.