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Zhang Yimou: Interviews (Conversations with Filmmakers) Hardcover – June 19, 2001

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A member of the Fifth Generation of Chinese filmmakers (Beijing Film Academy class of 1982, the first filmmakers schooled post-Cultural Revolution), Zhang Yimou has earned awards and comparisons to Jean-Luc Goddard and Ingmar Bergman for such films as Ju Dou and Raise the Red Lantern, both initially banned in China. He operates in a precipitous space between governmental sanction (thanks to his success) and his own opinions on oppression particularly sexism in China. In Zhang Yimou: Interviews (part of the University of Mississippi's Conversations with Filmmakers series), edited by assistant professor of film studies at University of Michigan Frances Gateward, Zhang talks with 17 critics about censorship, cinematography and his foreign investors, among other topics.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Virtually the only mainland Chinese director whose movies are shown regularly abroad, Zhang Yimou is the face of Chinese film to most westerners. After serving as cinematographer for many key early works by China's "fifth generation" filmmakers, he turned to direction with Red Sorghum (1987), which was internationally acclaimed, largely because of Zhang's muse, actress Gong Li, who has appeared in six of his subsequent films. These 18 interviews, from sources ranging from Hong Kong film journals to American newspapers, trace Zhang's career as he moved from the formal, visually sumptuous style and historical settings of his early features to a more naturalistic, pseudodocumentary approach, employing nonprofessional actors and contemporary stories. There is some duplication of effort in the interviews; for instance, Zhang is repeatedly asked about his reliance on female protagonists and the difficulties of working within the restrictions imposed by Chinese authorities. The increasing visibility of Asian films in the U.S., evinced by the breakthrough success of the Taiwanese Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, may prompt film-savvy readers to investigate the trailblazing Zhang. Gordon Flagg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Series: Conversations with Filmmakers
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Mississippi (June 19, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1578062616
  • ISBN-13: 978-1578062614
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,852,435 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Raymond Surjaputra on September 28, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book is a precious collection of interviews with the great Chinese movie director, Zhang Yimou, whom we should be grateful for having been generous in donating some of his time in answering questions from a long queue of various film critics, journalists, and academics from all over the world who were fortunate enough to get a hold of him personally in candid, frank, and honest one-to-one conversations.

These interviews give a thorough first-hand insight into the genious of perhaps one of the greatest movie director in our times, whose world-acclaimed achievements include towering movies such as 'Red the Raise Lantern', 'To Live', 'Not One Less', 'Happy Times', and amongst a few others...

When speaking about his movies, Zhang Yimou speaks with a characteristically clear, concise voice and with a wide open heart. He has shown great ability to eloquently and articulately express his thoughts which come straight out from the words of his own mouth, giving us a direct insight to his ideas and personal philosophies. In these interviews, he speaks with a very personal and passionate voice, answering and making counter-arguments to his interviewers' questions and assumptions.

From the interviews, Zhang Yimou shares a wide-ranging views about what he intends to convey through his movies -- the various multifaceted aspects of modern and ancient China, namely Chinese culture and tradition, its people and their lives in different distinct periods of Chinese history...

Overall, this book a valuable source for studying and understanding the director himself and his works.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Cesar Diaz on August 28, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I guess like many, my first approach to Zhang Yimou was through his epic masterpiece "Hero". Then, I started to watch his prior works. And then I started to read about him. I'd say this book is as good as the other books in the "Conversations With Filmmakers" series of the University Press of Mississippi. Also, it's the best book I've read so far, either in English or in Spanish, not only about the most important contemporary Chinese director, but actually, about his entire generation. The only problem: it's already missing six films, from "Happy Times" to his collaboration in "Chacun son cinéma". As good as it is, I'd say it's already waiting for an update.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By SReam on April 26, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good Read, I used it for my Chinese Film class. It was cheaper to buy it on amazon than at the campus book store!
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