Sound, Music and Memory in Jia Zhangke’s Unknown Pleasures (2002) and the ‘Hometown Trilogy’

Activity: Talk or presentation typesPublic lecture/debate/seminar


In Jia Zhangke’s ‘Hometown Trilogy’ the complex diegetic soundscapes, which are often recorded using the method of direct sound, are represented as ‘occupied’ spaces: acoustic realms that are densely layered with the competing discourses of reform era China. Focusing on Unknown Pleasures (2002), while making connections with the earlier two films of the trilogy, my talk will explore how the film uses sound and music to articulate the experience of China’s rapid transformation in the years following the end of the Cultural Revolution.
Period30 Apr 2020
Held atGoethe University Frankfurt, Germany
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • sound and music
  • memory
  • Chinese cinema
  • Jia Zhangke
  • acoustic ecology