SHADOW will open the door of China’s commercial art film to the world

Shadow is the latest film directed by Zhang Yimou. The film tells an obscure boy who was secretly imprisoned from the age of eight. He is not willing to be treated as a substitute and has tried hard to find freedom. In July 2018, the film was shortlisted for the 75th Venice International Film Festival’s non-competition screening unit and the 43rd Toronto International Film Festival’s main screening unit.

Since the beginning of this year, Zhang Yimou has successively won two awards: “Honorary Doctor of Humanities and Arts in Boston University” and “Most Influential Director of Microblogging Award”. In this autumn, he won the “Glory Film Producer” award at the Venice Film Festival again, which was founded in 2006. This award mainly recognizes filmmakers who make special contributions to modern movies. As Director Zhang Yimou said in the award speech, “This award is rewarded to people with innovative spirit. I regard it as a kind of affirmation and encouragement.”

Shadow brings its own style to the international film festival. The ubiquitous strong personal art in the film and the exploration of expressionism has reached a new height. If people regard Red Sorghumopened the gate of prize for Chinese art film and considered Hero opened the door of China’s commercial film box office, then Shadow with its creative and traditional Chinese ink image style will open the door to China’s commercial art film to the world.

After the Movie premiere, many viewers consider this movie deserves to be watched more than once. The film is dominated by the color of black, white and ash. The leading actor Deng Chao acts two different roles in the film. One is arrogant, and the other one is savage and sinister. The other role named king Pei Liang in the movie combines righteous and evil. His actor Zheng Kai also has a good interpretation of this character. Sometimes indulgence, sometimes violent, the two sides of the character are highlighted.

Some viewers regard Shadow remind them of Akira Kurosawa, a famous Japanese director. This year is the 20th anniversary of his death. “If a person is gone, will his shadow still exist?” This is a sentence in Kurosawa’s movie. Akira Kurosawa is the one who still exists despite his death. A person is gone, and his shadow is still there. That is because there is a “spirit” between the “Shape” and the “Shadow”. Zhang Yimou once commented, “Akira Kurosawa makes me understand that when you are going to the outside world, keep your character and style.”

Based on quality assurance, it provides a good demonstration path for the future commercial film.



‘Shadow’, 2018, Wikipedia, wiki article, viewed 25 August 2018,

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