Chinese director Zhang Yimou takes skills behind the camera to Olympics stage

China 24

Chinese director Zhang Yimou takes skills behind the camera to Olympics stage

Zhang Yimou has directed some of China’s most famous films. But soon, he’ll take his talents to the upcoming Olympics in Pyeongchang.

CGTN’s Frances Kuo has more.

They include blockbusters like “Raise the Red Lantern,” “Flowers of War” and his first English language film, “The Great Wall.”

But, the big screen isn’t the only place where Zhang is making his mark.

Zhang is taking the reins of the closing ceremony at this year’s Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

He’s tasked with producing an eight-minute show, a preview of the Winter Games in 2022 that Beijing will host.

“Doing an eight-minute show is difficult, as people have many requirements for it with a very high expectation,” said Zhang.

This isn’t the first time Zhang has directed ceremonies at the Olympics; he was behind the opening and closing ceremonies at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics.

For those shows, the focus was on China’s 5,000 year history.

“I think during the past 14 years, our country changed a lot,” said Zhang.  “Not to mention China’s international status, it’s getting very different. So I think the performance should highlight the ‘pulse of the times’, the atmosphere and the feeling.”

In Pyeongchang, the goal is to showcase a confident and modern China.

“This time, we highlight the sense of high-tech by the new technology and want to bring out a new feeling on demonstrating China’s scene,” said Zhang.

It’s a mission that’s included nearly one year of preparations and rehearsals for the past few months.

“Because of national duty and pride to represent my country, I assumed the responsibility to do it, and to go all out to make it good,” said Zhang.

And, he’s taking his skills behind the big screen onto the biggest stage of all.

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