满城尽带黄金甲 | Curse of the Golden Flower

Curse of the Golden Flower

China, Later Tang Dynasty, 10th Century. On the eve of the Chong Yang Festival, golden flowers fill the Imperial Palace. The Emperor returns unexpectedly with his second son, Prince Jai. His pretext is to celebrate the holiday with his family, but given the chilled relations between the Emperor and the ailing Empress, this seems disingenuous. For many years, the Empress and Crown Prince Wan, her stepson, have had an illicit liaison. Feeling trapped, Prince Wan dreams of escaping the palace with his secret love Chan, the Imperial Doctor’s daughter. Meanwhile, Prince Jai, the faithful son, grows worried over the Empress’s health and her obsession with golden chrysanthemums. Could she be headed down an ominous path? The Emperor harbors equally clandestine plans; the Imperial Doctor is the only one privy to his machinations.

Directed by Yimou Zhang | Starring : Yun-Fat Chow, Li Gong, Ye Liu, Jay Chou, Dahong Ni | Presented at Glasgow Film Festival



He was a writer. He thought he wrote about the future but it really was the past. In his novel, a mysterious train left for 2046 every once in a while. Everyone who went there had the same intention, to recapture their lost memories. It was said that in 2046, nothing ever changed. Nobody knew for sure if it was true, because nobody who went there had ever come back – except for one. He was there. He chose to leave. He wanted to change.

Directed by Kar Wai Wong | Starring : Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Ziyi Zhang, Li Gong, Faye Wong, Takuya Kimura | Presented at Cannes Film Festival, Pusan Film Festival, Valladolid Film Festival, London Film Festival, Thessaloniki Film Festival, Bangkok Film Festival, Rotterdam Film Festival, Adelaide Film Festival, Sofia Film Festival, Istanbul Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Seattle Film Festival, Los Angeles Film Festival, Rio de Janeiro Film Festival

周渔的火车 | Zhou Yu’s Train

Zhou Yu's Train

Gong Li, the female icon of modern Chinese cinema, teams up with Sun Zhou, following their collaboration on the moving, and award-winning, drama “Breaking The Silence”. She gives a stupendous performance in possibly the most sensual role of her career, as a woman caught between two lovers, and two dimensions of desire. Zhou Yu, a ceramic artisan in China’s rural northwest, has a deep rapport with Chen Qing, a shy, sensitive poet. Taking a long train ride every weekend just to make mad passionate love with him, her longing seems insatiable. Until one day, she meets the hedonistic vet Zhang Qiang, and begins a torrid affair which takes her to another train station, and another level of lust.

Directed by Zhou Sun | Starring : Li Gong, Tony Leung Ka Fai, Honglei Sun, Zhixiong Li, Wei Liu | Presented at Berlin Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Maine Film Festival

漂亮妈妈 | Breaking the Silence

Breaking the Silence

Internationally-renowned actress Gong Li gives a wondrous performance in Breaking the Silence, an emotional drama from director Sun Zhou. Gong Li plays Sun Liying, a stubborn, independent woman struggling with her assigned lot in life. A single mother, she works to raise and educate her deaf son Zheng Da (Gao Xin) without support from her uncaring ex-husband (Guan Yue). Despite living beneath the indifferent shadow of modern Chinese society, Sun Liying gives her all to provide for her child, and her effort proves stirring and dramatic. Sun Zhou gives Breaking the Silence a semi-documentary feel, and humanizes his Chinese lower class subjects without canonizing them. Sun Liying is portrayed as simply a caring, loving mother who wishes the best for her child, and cares little for the politics or social issues of larger China. A refreshingly human film, Breaking the Silence is another milestone performance from Gong Li, whose powerful work earned accolades at film festivals worldwide.

Directed by Zhou Sun | Starring : Li Gong, Xin Gao, Liping Lü, Jing-ming Shi, Yue Guan | Presented at Berlin Film Festival, Montreal Film Festival, Hawaii Film Festival

荆轲刺秦王 | The Emperor and the Assassin

The Emperor and the Assassin

A lavishly produced historical drama from China, The Emperor and the Assassin tells the complex, multi-facetted story of the man who became the first Emperor of a unified China, another man who has sworn to kill him, and a woman who is loved by both men. Late in the Third Century B.C., when China was comprised of seven rival kingdoms, Ying Zheng was the leader of Qin. Ying Zheng had a dream in which he joined together the seven kingdoms into a single utopian state, and taking this as a mandate from God, he invaded the nearby state of Han as the first step toward this goal. However, not everyone in the neighboring states was happy with Ying Zheng’s crusade, which seemed to indicate a lengthy war with many casualties. Lady Zhao, Ying’s lover, devised a scheme to help Ying Zheng take over the nearby and uncooperative state of Yan; she fabricated a fake assassination plot against him, and framed the leader of Yan, once Ying Zheng’s childhood friend, as the man behind the murderous plot. However, Lady Zhao did not choose the would-be assassin wisely; while Jing Ke loved her and was willing to do her bidding, Jing Ke’s previous assassination assignment caused the unintended death of an innocent blind girl, which left him full of regret and a bit unstable. When Jing Ke learned a closely guarded secret about Ying Zheng’s past, he became blindly determined to kill the would-be emperor, whatever the cost.

Directed by Kaige Chen | Starring : Li Gong, Fengyi Zhang, Xuejian Li, Yongfei Gu, Zhiwen Wang | Presented at Cannes Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, AFI Film Festival, Reykjavik Film Festival, Thessaloniki Film Festival

风月 | Temptress Moon

Temptress Moon

Zhongliang orphaned seek refuge to marry Pang sister show instrument everywhere by the brother-in-law runs and an insult to huff opium toxic waste brother-in-law, fled to Shanghai after accidentally invested greatly sects, gang leader hue seduce wealthy wife hooked and then blackmail their money “demolition white party”. Pang House the classic after death, the eldest Ruyi Li main thing, life Zhongliang back to the Pang government lure wishful cheat Pang property greatly Unexpectedly, two long time to give birth to the truth, and could not bear to deceive wishful the Zhongliang celibacy return Shanghai, and the wishful be greatly received in Shanghai, Seeing the Zhongliang engaged Chaibai Party dirty gray heart of life and death.

Directed by Kaige Chen | Starring : Leslie Cheung, Li Gong, Kevin Lin, Saifei He, Shih Chang | Presented at Cannes Film Festival, New York Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival

摇啊摇,摇到外婆桥 | Shanghai Triad

Shanghai Triad

Zhang Yimou’s Shanghai Triad won the Technical Grand Prize at Cannes Film Festival in 1995, and was also nominated for the prestigious Golden Palm. Having collaborated with Zhang Yimou for a few artistically acclaimed titles including Raise the Red Lantern, Gong Li had by then made a name for herself as an actress. After Shanghai Triad, she stopped working with Zhang for more than a decade until Curse of the Golden Flower reunited them in 2006. Wonderfully colored and visually sumptuous, Shanghai Triad also received a nomination for Best Cinematography at the Oscars. Shanghai Triad, a film noir by genre, shows triad life through the eyes of a teenager, a perspective not often seen in this genre. Teenage boy Shuisheng moves from the countryside to Shanghai to stay with his uncle, who is under triad leader Tang. Tang sends Shuisheng to serve his mistress Xiao Jinbao (Gong Li). She has an affair with Song, another triad leader who plans to seize power from Tang. Shuisheng, innocent and naive, involuntarily gets involved in a power struggle which may explode at any time.

Directed by Yimou Zhang | Starring : Li Gong, Baotian Li, Wang Xiaoxiao, Xuejian Li, Chun Sun | Presented at Cannes Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival, New York Film Festival, London Film Festival

活着 | To Live

To Live

Directed by 5th generation filmmaker Zhang Yimou; starring Gong Li. When the irresponsible Xu Fugui loses his family’s fortune during a gambling spree, he causes his loved ones incredible hardship. Fugui’s father dies from a heart attack upon hearing the news, and his pregnant wife abandons him. Unable to put bread on the table, even for himself, Fugui works as a street vender, and when his wife notices his uncustomary humility, she returns. Within a year, Fugui desires to open a shop but is unable to raise the necessary funds. Instead of money, the local loan shark gives him his old shadow puppets. Soon, Fugui masters the art of puppetry, which increases his paltry income — but also serves as propaganda for the imminent Communist Revolution.

Directed by Yimou Zhang | Starring : Li Gong, You Ge, Ben Niu, Wu Jiang, Tao Guo | Presented at Cannes Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, New York Film Festival, Vancouver Film Festival, San Sebastian Film Festival

画魂 | A Soul Haunted by Painting

A Soul Haunted by Painting

The rise of a Chinese painter Pan Yuliang (1899-1977) as she went from prostitute to famed artist in Paris is the focus of this Chinese biography. The film opens with then 12-year old Pan working in a brothel in a small rural town. She is soon hired to become a prostitute after the head hooker retires and is killed. She meets her eventual husband, Zanhua, on her very first night. He already had a wife, but he married Pan anyway, and they moved to the city where Pan studied painting at the Shanghai Arts Institute. The institute is closed after a series of demonstrations of people resenting foreign influences on Chinese art, and from those against the use of nude models. Pan still does nude portraits, but uses her body as the model. She becomes famous after her self-portrait “Bathing Woman” wins a French prize. Since her husband earlier went back to his former wife, Pan is free to move to Paris where her work continued to garner critical acclaim. In China her work was never recognized because they classified it as “depraved.”

Directed by Shuqin Huang | Starring : Li Gong, Tung-Shing Yee, Sichang Da, Fang Chen, Hoi-Yung Shin | Presented at N/A

霸王别姬 | Farewell My Concubine

Farewell my Concubine

Farewell My Concubine is a 1993 Chinese film directed by Chen Kaige, is one of the central works of the Fifth Generation movement that brought Chinese film directors to world attention. Similar to other Fifth Generation films like To Live and The Blue Kite, Farewell My Concubine explores the effect of China’s political turmoil during the mid-20th century on the lives of individuals, families, and groups, in this case, two stars in a Peking opera troupe and the woman who comes between them. The film is an adaptation of the novel by Lilian Lee. Lilian Lee is also one of the film’s screenplay writers.

Directed by Kaige Chen | Starring : Leslie Cheung, Fengyi Zhang, Li Gong, You Ge, Wenli Jiang | Presented at Cannes Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Chicago Film Festival, Tokyo Film Festival, New York Film Festival

秋菊打官司 | The Story of Qiu Ju

Qiu Ju

With The Story of Qiu Ju, internationally acclaimed Chinese director Zhang Yimou shifts his attention from powerful historical dramas to contemporary life. Gong Li plays the titular heroine, an average woman in a rural village whose life is unexceptional until her husband is physically attacked by the village elder. When the elder refuses to apologize, Qiu Ju decides to seek legal action with the help of a local magistrate. Soon, her quest for simple justice balloons into a series of frustrating battles with a complicated and unproductive bureaucracy. In contrast to the rich, painterly look of his previous films, Zhang adopts an unadorned, realistic style that allows the film’s increasingly absurd situations to speak for themselves. Indeed, while the look at government gone wrong has serious underpinnings, the overall tone remains one of understated satire. As might be expected, The Story of Qiu Ju was received with greater appreciation by international critics than in its home country.

Directed by Yimou Zhang | Starring : Li Gong, Kesheng Lei, Peiqi Liu, Liuchun Yang, Zhijun Ge | Presented at Venice Film Festival, New York Film Festival, Vancouver Film Festival, Febio Film Festival

大红灯笼高高挂 | Raise the Red Lantern

Raise the Red Lantern

Raise the Red Lantern is a 1991 film directed by Zhang Yimou and starring Gong Li. It is an adaption by Ni Zhen of the 1990 novel Wives and Concubines by Su Tong. The film was later adapted into an acclaimed ballet of the same title by the National Ballet of China, also directed by Zhang.Set in the 1920s, the film tells the story of a young woman who becomes one of the concubines of a wealthy man during the Warlord Era. It is noted for its opulent visuals and sumptuous use of colours. The film was shot in Qiao’s Compound near the ancient city of Pingyao, in Shanxi Province. Although the screenplay was approved by Chinese censors, the final version of the film was banned in China for a period. Some film critics have interpreted the film as a veiled allegory against authoritarianism.

Directed by Yimou Zhang | Starring : Li Gong, Jingwu Ma, Saifei He, Cuifen Cao, Lin Kong | Presented at Venice Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Stockholm Film Festival

菊豆 | Ju Dou

Ju Dou

A woman married to the brutal and infertile owner of a dye mill in rural China conceives a boy with her husband’s nephew but is forced to raise her son as her husband’s heir without revealing his parentage in this circular tragedy. Filmed in glowing technicolour, this tale of romantic and familial love in the face of unbreakable tradition is more universal than its setting.

Directed by Yimou Zhang | Starring : Li Gong, Baotian Li, Wei Li, Zhang Yi, Xingli Niu | Presented at Cannes Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, New York Film Festival, London Film Festival, Chicago Film Festival, Valladolid Film Festival, Melbourne Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival

秦俑 | A Terra-Cotta Warrior

A Terracotta warrior

China 3000 years ago. It’s the time of the Qin dynasty. The emperor seeks immortality by busily letting his alchemists search for a formula and building the famous terracotta army from the bodies of outlaws and the condemned. This is the time Mong Tiang Fong and court lady Twon fall deeply in love. Such a thing is not tolerated at the court and when their relationship is discovered both are sentenced to death. In the meantime the alchemists have discovered the formula of immortality, but decide to destroy their work. However Twon gets possession of one immortality pill which she manages to give to Tiang Fong before he’s made a terracotta warrior too. China 1930. While on location a film crew discovers parts of the grave of emperor Qin guarded by the terracotta warriors. Tiang Fong, being immortal, awakes.

Directed by Siu-Tung Ching | Starring : Li Gong, Yimou Zhang, Rongguang Yu, Suk Bung Luk, Tian-Ming Wu | Presented at Chicago Film Festival

红高粱 | Red Sorghum

Red Sorghum

Won Golden Bear award at the Berlin Film Festival. A stunning visual achievement, this new wave Chinese film succeeds on many levels–as an ode to the color red, as dark comedy, and as a sweeping epic with fairy tale overtones. Set in rural China in the 1920s, during the period of the Japanese invasion. The sorghum plot nearby is a symbolic playing field in the movie’s most stunning scenes. Here, people make love, murder, betray, and commit acts of bravery, all under the watchful eye of nature. Based on a novel by Mo Yan 莫言, Red Sorghum is Zhang Yimou’s directorial debut. An anonymous narrator tells the story of his grandmother, a bride-to-be in an arranged wedding with an aging leprous winemaker, and his grandfather, who was one of the sedan-chair bearers escorting her to her wedding. Along the way, a bandit forces her out of the sedan chair, and the two exchange looks after he saves her. The pair is re-united following the winemaker’s untimely death, whereupon they assemble the old winemaking crew. They endure travails with banditry, pestilence, war with the Japanese and the ongoing process of making good sorghum wine.

Directed by Yimou Zhang | Starring : Li Gong, Wen Jiang, Rujun Ten, Chun Hua Ji, Jia Zhaoji | Presented at Berlin Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, New York Film Festival