Hollywood Awakens to Chinese Cinema

The most popular film director in China, Feng Xiaogang, was just immortalized in cement during a celebratory Handprint Ceremony in Hollywood. Feng joins the ranks of Cecil B. Demille, Steven Spielberg, Clint Eastwood, Gene Kelly, and Ron Howard who have be honored in this way.

Beijing-born Feng Xiaogang is a highly successful and visionary Chinese film director whose comedic films have consistently topped box office charts in China over the last 20 years. He recently broke that mold by making drama or period drama films such as the well-regarded Back to 1942, which was shown at the TCL Chinese Theatre during the Beijing Film Panorama in America festival, Nov. 1-Nov. 3.

Feng is the first Chinese film director to be immortalized in cement at Hollywood’s TCL Chinese Theatre. Formerly Grumman’s Chinese Theatre and Mann’s Chinese Theatre, the theatre has been home to many movie premieres, since 1927 as well as Academy Awards ceremonies. Among the theater’s most distinctive features are the concrete blocks set in the forecourt, which bear the signatures, footprints, and handprints of popular motion picture personalities from the 1920s to the present day.

Feng was joined by Chinese film luminaries Xu Fan, Zhang Guoli, Deng Jive, Tang Gouging, and many other famous Chinese movie stars.

In recent years, Feng has made some explorations to make his films thrive both commercially and artistically. His 2006 film, The Banquet, is a costume epic. In this film, Feng worked with the world-renowned composer Tan Dun, Oscar® nominated costume designer Timmy Yip and the internationally acclaimed Woo-ping Yuen.

Feng’s 2007 film, Assembly, is China’s first attempt at a war film. Feng’s realistic depiction of brutal battle scenes and his usual gentle touch on the relationship between people made the film Best Asian Picture of the 28th annual Hong Kong Film Award.

In 2008, Feng wrote and directed If You are the One. This romantic comedy is filled with Feng-styled humor. In addition, the film’s gorgeous artistic and visual elements truly left the audiences in awe. If You are the One earned a stunning 325 million Yuan ($53 million), which broke the all-time Chinese box office record, and Feng became China’s first director to earn more than one billion Yuan ($164 million) in box office revenue. Aftershock (2010) successfully relived the catastrophic 1976 Tangshan Earthquake. It added substantially to his films’ box office earnings with yet another record take of 660 million Yuan ($108 million).

Feng’s films have been topping the domestic box office chart for more than two decades and his never-ending passion for film is continuing to push him to make even greater breakthroughs. His works are greatly appreciated by the Chinese audiences, and have earned him the title as “The Box Office Guarantee.”

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