director zhang yimou presents hollywood, made in china - quiet air purifier
Chinese director Zhang Yimou has long been regarded as a critic of the Chinese regime.
Recently, however, he has focused on his luxurious works ---
Beijing hopes his new film, the flower of war, will make China a cultural powerhouse.
Zhang has seen only one German movie on a pirated DVD.
"Bugging the movie," he explained, putting his hand on his ear, like the headphones that actor Ulrich Moher wore in his most famous character: acting as an agent for Stasi or a secret police officer for East Germany, in 2006 German feature film "The Lives of Others.
"Many Chinese like this movie," Zhang said with a smile . "
What he did not say was: "The life of others" is a portrait of an authoritarian persecution and corrupting its best artists.
Director Zhang, 60, in his office.
Rise of southern Beijing.
Outside, the city is in deep smog.
Next to Ikea's sofa, there is an air purifier, a new symbol of identity for a wealthy urban Chinese.
The Chinese version of the biography of Steve jobbles is lying on a conference table with movie posters hanging on the wall, such as "raising red lanterns", "Heroes" and "Flying Knife House".
"Zhang Yimou has been making movies for 25 years.
He is the best in China.
Famous Western director, famous domestic star.
Zhang Yimou's career can be seen as a fable of China's rise as a world power, but it can also be used as an example of the price paid for its rise.
In 1988, a unique professional actor made his debut with Red Sorghum, which earned him the highest award at the Berlin International Film Festival.
Some of his later films were banned in his home country, but he was invited to host the opening and closing ceremonies of 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.
Even by Chinese standards, his career is unique.
Zhang will be back in Berlin this week, and his new film "Flowers of War" will be released in Berlin, although this time it is an option of "no competition, this means that it is not running for the golden or silver bear of the festival.
The main goal is to get the film into global distribution, for which a Los Angeles agency is overseeing the marketing of the film.
The film's presentation at the Berlin film festival marks the culmination of a global campaign, with China stepping up its challenge to Hollywood.
The flower of war is the most expensive movie ever made in China, with a production cost of $94 million (€72 million)
Starring: Christian bell, after the British Oscar, is known for playing Batman.
Bell will also arrive in Berlin this week.
In the flower of war, Bell plays a fictional American who is involved in a tragedy in real life ---
The 1937 Nanjing Massacre, also known as "rape of Nanjing", was one of the most serious war crimes of the 20 th century, and the Japanese army killed or raped thousands of Chinese citizens while occupying the then capital city of the Republic of China.
During this period, Sino-Japanese relations have been tense until today.
"The younger generation in China doesn't know much about the events in Nanjing," Zhang said, noting this when he made the film.
"But almost everyone here knows the list of" chinks.
Hollywood movies have a great influence on us in China.
What we have to do now is to further develop our own film industry.
We need to make movies that Chinese people want to see. -
The same is true for foreign audiences, of course.
"The Politics of Chinese film companies is a political issue, and no one is better than Zhang, who was born in 1951 and is therefore two years younger than China.
His father was a soldier of the Kuomintang army. -
In other words, communists who oppose Mao Zedong.
At first, the son of the soldier was not allowed to go to college.
Zhang Yimou has had to work in agriculture and textile mills for many years.
It was not until the end of the Cultural Revolution in 1978 that China began prudent liberalization measures before he was admitted to Peking University.
Artist Ai Weiwei is a student, but Zhang said, "We study in different departments. he is in painting and I am in film.
Zhang directed his first film in 1987.
Red Sorghum tells the story of a young woman in her 1930 s living in rural China who manages to maintain her dignity until the arrival of Japanese soldiers, sowing death and destruction.
"Red Sorghum" caused a sensation in 1988 Berlin.
Zhang described China as something that the West has never seen before --
Will, creativity, energy-
The film is a celebration of personal strength.
Zhang also brought a new star to the World Film Company, actress Gong Li, who became Zhang's partner when he left his wife for her.
The Golden Bear of "Red Sorghum" is the first in China
In the West, the success of the festival has upset some cultural officials in Beijing.
After authorities tanks cracked down on protests by 1989 students in Tiananmen Square, censors began to make Zhang's life difficult.
They suspect that the subtle criticism of the regime is not entirely wrong.
For example, 1991 movies, perhaps Zhang's best work, "take a red lantern," present themselves as a marriage drama, but hide a deeper study of the violent system, review of assimilation, resistance and the consequences arising therefrom.
The heroine of the film went crazy in the end.
At this time, with the financial support of Hong Kong and Japanese investors, Zhang is making his film.
Normally, filming is done in China, but the video is developed and edited abroad, which is inaccessible to Chinese authorities.
The bureaucrats then retaliated in their own way by banning the screening of "Raising Red Lanterns" and other films from Chinese cinemas.
The bans were "never formally abolished," the director said ".
With the spread of the video on the black market, his film is popular nationwide.
When Zhang wanted to go to Cannes to receive the prize in 1994, Chinese authorities refused to issue him a travel permit.
They banned him from interviews with Western journalists and from public comments on certain topics.
The changes in the new millennium have brought fundamental changes to Zhang's work.
The Oscar-nominated hero in 2003 is an action film commemorating King Qin, the tyrant who founded the first Chinese empire more than 2,200 years ago.
The king is responsible for the construction of the Great Wall of China, the transformation of the Empire to the police state, and the assassination of countless political opponents.
Mao Zedong likes to use the King of Qin to defend his arrogance.
"Heroes" seem to express sympathy for the firm stance that China's current leadership has followed.
Professor Zhang insisted on this line.
Recent films, such as the House of Flying knives and the curse of golden flowers, are no longer scenes in China's daily life, but in the distant past.
The intricate crowd and battle scenes have become more important than psychology.
With the opening ceremony of 2008 Olympic Games held in Beijing, the development of this direction has reached its peak.
The director used thousands of extra things to form magnificent geometric patterns, a victory for the masses against the individual.
The New Yorker magazine likened Zhang to the infamous Nazi propaganda film director, Lenny rifenthal.
The charge that he changed from a dissident to a propagandist offended the director.
"A lot of people think I have a close relationship with the regime, but that's not the case," he said . ".
"On the contrary, because I am so famous, the authorities are paying special attention to me.
"So, is Zhang Yimou a Communist Party member?
The director had a good laugh. "No," he says.
"The great progress made in this country includes the fact that I can answer this question completely, and I can talk about the fact that my father was in the Kuomintang.
It was impossible 20 years ago.
"Still, the problem remains: things have changed even more since Zhang started his career ---
China or the director himself?
Zhang said: "I believe I have always been loyal to myself . "
"I made all kinds of movies in all kinds of situations.
This should not be confused with political views.
He added: "He always relies on his financial backers when choosing a topic.
"The producers negotiate with the film authorities after approval," he explained . ".
"I am not allowed to contact the authorities myself.
No one can predict whether the review system will be abolished after 20 or 50 years.
No one knows that this is not even what we dream.
We just hope it will ease.
"It's usually much easier to get approval if the story happened in the past, Zhang added.
The new film "War Flower" is a novel about the Holocaust based on "Nanjing thirteen flowers.
In the film, more than 20 young Chinese women took the Nanjing Catholic Church as the reason to avoid Japanese soldiers.
Among them are female students from the monastery school, as well as unexpected guests from more than a dozen high-level people.
A prostitute in a silk dress.
An American funeral artist named John MillerChristian Bale)
Similarly, trapped in the church during the battle, she became the reluctant protector of women.
"This is not a movie that the government usually approves easily," Zhang said . "
"Foreigners, religion, World War II, these are complex topics.
But the film also tells about the willingness to help others, which is why the government supports the film.
"The Nanjing Massacre has been a taboo topic in China, especially since the Kuomintang ruled the city when it happened. Zhang's slow-
The dramatic portrayal of the heroic sacrifice of the Chinese people in attacking Japanese tanks first helps China reconcile with its past.
Zhang also follows the official version of history, as he seems to know only two types of Japanese: evil and real evil.
Zhang's film has a clear concept of who the enemy is, no big fear of cliché, a lot of grief and a little bit of sex, and it shares these with many war movies made in the West
The flower of War marks his permanent abandonment of art films.
At the same time, Zhang Yimou's film has been a success in China and is the most successful local film this year, second only to Transformers 3 imported by the United States.
Zhang said: "The Chinese people have been talking about how to go abroad and enter the economic, sports and cultural fields for many years . "
"This is what the whole country wants.
Movies are no exception.
Chinese President Hu Jintao recently published an article in a party issue in which he lamented: "We must clearly see that the international hostile forces are intensifying China's Westernization
Hu suggested that China should intensify the development of cultural products and deeply understand the seriousness and complexity of the ideological struggle. He also said, "Western international culture is strong and we are weak . "