[Introspective] Cannes article: PSB hit inspires film

Derek BD derekbd1970 at gmail.com
Thu May 21 08:24:13 PDT 2015




Chinese director Jia Zhangke had some musical inspiration for his Cannes
entry "Mountains May Depart": the Pet Shop Boys.

The disco duo's version of "Go West" plays over the opening and closing
scenes of the film, which charts the fates of a woman (Zhao Tao) and the
men in her life from 1999 to the year 2025.

It has been called a futurist melodrama, and also depicts China's dizzying
social and economic changes as it has gone from Communist state to
market-mad emerging superpower.

Jia said he chose the Pet Shop Boys' electro hit — a cover of a Village
People song — to capture the energy and optimism of Chinese youth in the
1990s, as the country began to rapidly open up.

"In the mid-1990s, there were a lot of discos popping up in China," the
45-year-old director told reporters Wednesday in Cannes, where his film is
competing for the Palme d'Or. "A lot of young people loved dancing,
including me. We'd go a little bit crazy on the weekends.

"'Go West' was my favorite song and it left a deep impression on me.
Because whenever they played this song, all the young people in the disco,
it didn't matter whether you know each other or not, would line up and
start dancing together."

Jia said the song represented mobility, the idea "that I can go anywhere in
the world."

"To me, the 'west' part of the song is not important," he said. "The
important part is 'go.'"
— By Jill Lawless, http://Twitter.com/JillLawless and Angela Chen

"A man who does not think for himself does not think at all." - Oscar Wilde
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