Director: Zhang Ke Jia
Jia Zhang-ke's Unknown Pleasures depicts a trough of aimlessness. This third feature by Jia - in Official Competition at Cannes 2002 - again proves his ability to hold a light to China's alienated rural youth. Xiao Ji and Bin Bin are teenage lads who do little more than tool around on their motor-scooters, smoke endlessly and lurk about the local community centre. There is little purpose or direction to their lives. Bin Bin feels the distance growing between himself and his studious girlfriend, who seeks a future in international trade. And the pleasure-seeking Xiao Ji falls for the disinterested Qiao Qiao, despite the fact that her thug boyfriend sets his cronies on him. Set at the turn of the 21st century, these anti-heroes soon come to learn that real power lies in the dollar, rather than in the communism of China's past. Shot by Jia's regular cinematographer, Yu Likwai, Unknown Pleasures has a distinctive visual style and the film confirms Jia as genius of the medium.