A STORY IN BETWEEN THE RUSHES
In «Les Eternels» , Jia Zhang-ke et Zhao Tao revisit their common work and redefine the idea of a beautiful love story between a director and his actress in the 21st century.
Exit «Ash Is the Purest White» . The nice English title is gone and has left his place to a seemingly less shining french version, but that perhaps sums up better the director’s project. «Les Eternels» is that couple on the screen. We are in 2001. He is a thug and she is his rebellious companion. From that opens a chronicle of sixteen years organized in three periods that tell the story of how they loved each other, then separated to be reunited and then torn to pieces, without ever being able to free themselves from the other. But the movie has another meaning, more secretive. Since his early beginnings Jia Zhang-ke always films the same thing : the barrage of the Trois-Gorges, the Sanxi region, the modernization of his country and his wife, Zhao Tao. His movies are fragmented and elliptic, as they are conceived as the incomplete pieces of an immense mosaic progressively being highlighted. Friday night, we were watching this new chapter as we would of a expected best-of, before we realize 24 hours later how far we were from reality. Jia picked in the unused rushes from his two emblematic movies ( «Plaisirs Inconnus» and «Still Life» ) to create a romantic journey through his own work, China from the 21st century, and signed a love story by and for cinema : that of a director and his actress. At the heart of his movies, in every take, there is Zhao, at 20 ( «Plaisirs Inconus» ), at 25 ( «Still
life» ) and today. «When I compared her face from 2002 to 2006 I realized that it had become harder. And I wondered what happened in the past to modify it that way.» «Les
Eternels» is a love story shredded to pieces, a declaration sent from three different times that renews and revisits their common filmography. They are the Eternals.