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Creator / Zhang Yimou

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Zhang Yimou (张艺谋, 1951- ) is one of the leading lights of Chinese film and is often considered one of the greatest living Chinese 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 Olympic Games.


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 — the color-coded armies in Curse of the Golden Flower and The Great Wall for example. Besides his wuxia films, Raise the Red Lantern is also a striking 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: Some of his recent films have all more or less been wuxia, in contrast to his slower-paced, more contemplativenote  earlier works.


Example of: