Zhang Yimou (1951- ) is one of the leading lights of Chinese film and is often considered one of the greatest living directors. He tends to favor stories set in rural/historical China, often with an emphasis on the dark side of the setting, and also has a very strong visual style. Many of his movies contain remarkable Scenery Porn
even within quite restricted settings. Was romantically involved with Gong Li
for a number of years and featured her, and later Zhang Ziyi
as leads in many of his films.
He gained a lot of applause for directing the truly spectacular opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
The films of Zhang Yimou include:
Tropes found in or relating to Zhang Yimou's work (except Hero, House of Flying Daggers, and Curse of the Golden Flower) include:
- Banned in China: His film To Live was banned for having a negative portrayal of CCP policies. Zhang was also banned from making films for two years.
- Color Motif: Striking and heavily symbolic use of color is considered to be part of Zhang's Signature Style. Besides his wuxia films, Raise the Red Lantern is a particularly good example.
- I Ate WHAT?: Or rather drank what. In Red Sorghum, pissing in the vats makes the liquor taste better.
- The Muse: Gong Li, in his earlier period.
- Scenery Porn: Let's just say this, his films are GORGEOUS, especially Red Sorghum and Raise The Red Lantern.
- Second Sino-Japanese War: The main setting of Red Sorghum and touched on in To Live.
- Wuxia: His last three films have all more or less been wuxia, in contrast to his slower-paced, more contemplativenote earlier ouvre.