Two of Chinese cinema’s preeminent masters of the screen will soon receive a deserved special film season at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) as part of its ongoing China Up Close program.


Epic Intimacy: The Cinema of Zhang Yimou & Gong Li celebrates and honours the legacy of  award winning director Zhang Yimou and his cinematic muse Gong Li and will be screening from March 6 – 15, 2015.


Zhang’s artistically ravishing vision has long been admired for the past three decades and as a result has seen the director produce some of China’s most important films. The Chinese filmmaker has continued to create compelling content for the screen and his ongoing filmmaking partnership with actress Gong Li solidifies their excellence as a filmmaking duo.


Their new film together, Coming Home, will be screening as part of the special film season and so far has only been shown throughout festivals in Australia. Set during China’s Cultural Revolution, Coming Home, follows the lives of an aspiring ballet dancer (Zhang Huiwen), her school teacher mother (Gong Li) who learn that the family patriarch (Chen Daoming) has escaped the government re-education camp. Sony Pictures is expected to release the film theatrically in April.


Other films in the director/actor duo’s collaboration that admirers can expect to see include:


  • Red Sorghum (1987): Zhang’s debut film which cemented his place in world cinema and heralded the arrival of his muse.
  • Ju Dou (1990): The first mainland Chinese film to have been nominated for an Academy Award
  • Raise the Red Lantern (1991): Frequently considered Zhang’s best film and Gong’s best performance, this hauntingly ravishing film earned Zhang his second Academy Award nomination.
  • The Story of Qui Ju (1992): An artistic departure for Zhang as he moved from producing period pieces to creating a film set in contemporary China.
  • To Live (1994): Family drama spanning four decades about a noble family who lose their fortune and are swept away by socio-political change in China.
  • Shanghai Triad (1995): Based on a popular novel, it showcases the excess of 1930s Shanghai and was noted for its cinematography.
  • The Curse of the Golden Flower (2006): Zhang’s flirtation with wuxia cinema, which began with Hero and The House of Flying Daggers, draws to a close with an all-star cast and epic scale.


Epic Intimacy: The Cinema of Zhang Yimou & Gong Li will screen at ACMI from March 6 – 15. For more information including session times, ticketing and film information, visit the season’s official page over at ACMI’s website.