The Playlist

Marrakech '12: Zhang Yimou Talks Working With Christian Bale, The Growing Chinese Box Office & More

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • December 8, 2012 9:23 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Zhang Yimou ("Raise the Red Lantern," "Ju Dou," "Hero," "House of the Flying Daggers") has been making movies in his homeland of China, from within the system, for the past two and a half decades. During this time, he has witnessed, and participated in, the gradual, incremental thawing of Chinese relations with the West, and the partial loosening of the viselike grip of governmental control over film production. Honored with a tribute at the Marrakech International Film Festival, and presenting his newest film "The Flowers of War", Zhang spoke, through two translators (Mandarin-French, French-English) to a small group of journalists about his filmmaking life under a notoriously repressive regime, the themes he revisits, and working with Christian Bale. Here are five highlights from that conversation.

Review: Overwrought & Superficial ‘Flowers Of War’ Never Even Blooms

  • By The Playlist
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  • January 20, 2012 4:33 PM
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  • 4 Comments
While the historically overlooked massacre and genocide of China's city of Nanking is experiencing a resurgence in cultural awareness (and therefore cinema) as an under-remembered tragedy worth memorializing (see the 2007 documentary "Nanking"), the brutal events – Japan killing 200,000 people in their 1937 overthrowing of the region – is still mostly unknown outside of the East.

Retro Poster For 'We Need Talk To About Kevin' & New One Sheets For 'Jeff Who Lives At Home,' 'Safe' & 'Flowers Of War'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 19, 2012 3:20 PM
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  • 4 Comments
Some new posters have landed so we're gonna skip the preamble and just get to it. Want a poster for your wall that both reflects your taste in classic horror flicks, but still lets people know you're hip to contemporary cinema? The beautiful retro poster for "We Need To Talk About Kevin" should do the trick. What better way to advertise a movie about a demon spawn child than to riff on the one sheet for "Rosemary's Baby." Great work unknown graphic designer! It's also a great way to get people talking about 'Talk About Kevin' again, a triumphant return by Lynne Ramsay, featuring great turns by Tilda Swinton and Ezra Miller, in a film that will leave you unsettled for days afterward. It's in theaters now.

Kevin MacDonald's Bob Marley Documentary, New Werner Herzog Death Row Films To Premiere At Berlin Film Festival

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • December 19, 2011 9:02 AM
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  • 1 Comment
We've barely wrapped up our 2011 Film Festival coverage (look for one more piece from sunny Marrakech later today), but already we're looking towards the 2012 festival calendar. Sundance have unveiled what seems to be a particularly tantalizing line-up for the Park City festival in January, while this morning has seen the first films unveiled for the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival, which kicks off in February.

Watch: Nanking Is On Fire In New Trailer For 'The Flowers Of War' Starring Christian Bale

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • December 12, 2011 3:11 PM
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  • 2 Comments
It took a bit longer than we expected, especially considering the Oscar qualifying run starts in just under two weeks, but the U.S. trailer for Zhang Yimou's Oscar contending, Christian Bale starring "The Flowers Of War" has arrived and it's a bit of a mixed bag.

New Posters & Images From 'The Flowers Of War' Starring Christian Bale

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • December 6, 2011 11:58 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Pretty much all the Oscar contenders are out of the gate and jockeying for position, but one film that still remains an unknown quantity is Zhang Yimou's "The Flowers of War" starring Christian Bale. The expensive Chinese production that splits the language duties between English and Mandarin, has been earning its fair share of buzz, but mostly around the unusual situation of a major Hollywood star stepping into a foreign film. But a recent profile on the film in THR reveals it was none other than Steven Spielberg who championed his "Empire of the Sun" star to Zhang.

New Poster For Zhang Yimou's 'The Flowers Of War' Blooms

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • November 11, 2011 1:20 PM
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  • 1 Comment
The slow Oscar build for Zhang Yimou's "The Flowers Of War" continues. The film was picked up this week by Wrekin Hill who plan to give it an Oscar qualifying run before a wider release next year, but as always, as it has yet to play for the all important critics and Academy folk, it remains to seen if it has the juice to be a Best Foreign Film nominee and/or possibly nab some other nominatoins as well.

Wrekin Hill To Take U.S. Rights To Zhang Yimou’s ‘The Flowers Of War’ Starring Christian Bale

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • November 8, 2011 6:32 PM
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  • 0 Comments
There is still a lot of time for things to play out in the awards season race, but often there are indicators as to how far (or not) a film will go. While on paper, two-time Best Foreign Film nominee Zhang Yimou directing Christian Bale in a period piece war movie seems like a no-brainer, "The Flowers Of War" has taken quite a long time to secure distribution. Perhaps that melodramatic trailer should have been a warning sign? And no knock to upstarts Wrekin Hill, who are new players in the game, but word of their taking on the film doesn't exactly bode well for 'War' to be a major force in the next few months.

Watch: Trailer For Christian Bale & Zhang Yimou’s Oscar Contending ‘The Flowers Of War’

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • October 20, 2011 4:52 AM
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  • 10 Comments
After winning his first Oscar last year for "The Fighter," can Christian Bale make it a repeat this year? Judging by the first international trailer for Zhang Yimou's Oscar-contending "The Flowers Of War," we somehow doubt it, but the scale of the film does look impressive even if the tone seems somewhat uneven.

Christian Bale Looks Pensive In Poster For Oscar Contending 'The Flowers Of War'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 26, 2011 3:48 AM
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  • 5 Comments
While Christian Bale has taken a break from the big screen in 2011, that's only because he's been busy getting some more movies in the can. Of course, there is next summer's blockbuster "The Dark Knight Rises" which is currently filming but before he headed back to Gotham this summer, Bale took an interesting detour that found him starring in the latest from Zhang Yimou, "The Flowers Of War."

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