A formidable body of work
Directorial Works: 1987 Red Sorghum (红高粱)
Visually stunning and emotionally powerful, it was a Golden Bear winner at the Berlin International Film Festival 1988. The film marks the rise of the so-called fifth generation of Chinese directors, including Zhang, Chen Kaige and Tian Zhuangzhuang.
1988 Codename Cougar (代号美洲豹)
The film about a hijack was co-directed with Yang Fengliang. It was not a box office or critical success.
1990 Ju Dou (菊豆)
The life of a woman married to an infertile and brutal husband. The lavish use of color and uncanny storyline was controversial.
1991 Raise the Red Lantern (大红灯笼高高挂)
The tragic fate of women in old China.
1992 The Story of Qiu Ju (秋菊大官司)
A story about a rural woman seeking redress from Chinese bureaucracy. It was a Golden Lion winner at the 1992 Venice International Film Festival.
1994 To Live (活着)
The film follows a man's lifetime of tribulations and is one of Zhang’s best-loved flicks.
1995 Shanghai Triad (摇啊摇摇到外婆桥)
The last Zhang movie featuring Gong Li, in the 1990s, is about a cabaret singer and a gang lord and is set in the 1930s Shanghai underworld.
1997 Keep Cool (有话好好说)
Zhang's first comedy and a film set in a modern city.
1999 Not One Less (一个不能少)
The touching story of a teenaged teacher at a rural school won the Golden Lion at the 1999 Venice International Film Festival.
1999 The Road Home (我的父亲母亲)
Zhang Ziyi‘s big screen debut. A love story between a rural girl and a young teacher.
2000 Happy Times (幸福时光)
One of the few comedies from Zhang, about an old man’s white lies to further a young girl‘s happiness.
2002 Hero (英雄)
The star-studded kung fu film earned more than 200 million yuan ($29 million) at the domestic box office and $53 million in the US.
2004 House of Flying Daggers (十面埋伏)
An action movie with a love story, starring Zhang Ziyi.
2005 Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles (千里走单骑)
Starring Japanese thespian Ken Takakura, it is a film about a father-and-son relationship.
2006 Curse of the Golden Flower (满城尽带黄金甲)
Gong Li returns in this movie about a royal conspiracy and familial love.
2009 A Simple Noodle Story (三枪拍案惊奇) A remake of the Coen brothers‘ Blood Simple. Zhang’s first effort at a slapstick/thriller.
Stage Works: Zhang has been directing stage productions since the 1990s.
Based on Puccini’s opera, staged in Florence in 1997; the Forbidden City, Beijing, 1998; and the National Stadium, 2009, among other venues.
2001 Raise the Red Lantern (大红灯笼高高挂), ballet
Adapted from Zhang‘s own film of the same title. Impression series Four outdoor performances staged at scenic destinations for tourists.
2004 Impression Liu Sanjie, set against the Lijiang River and mountains in Guilin, Southwest China. Liu Sanjie is a female folk singer.
2006 Impression Lijiang, set at the bottom of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in Lijiang, Yunnan province
2007 Impression West Lake, set against the West Lake in Hangzhou, East China’s Zhejiang province.
2009 Impression Hainan, on the island known as China’s Hawaii.
Before the end of 2009, Zhang Yimou will complete his fifth show of the series called Impression Dahongpao in Wuyishan, Fujian province. Dahongpao is a kind of Chinese tea.
2006 The First Emperor (秦始皇), opera
Tan Dun was the composer. The world premiere was held at the Metropolitan Opera in 2006.
2008 The Opening and Closing Ceremony for the Beijing Olympics By combining traditional Chinese culture with modern technology, Zhang wins applause from both home and abroad.
2009 The gala celebrating the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, at which Hu Jintao danced with people in Tian’anmen Square.
2009 Zhang is chosen as the first Chinese director in the “2010-2011 The Rolex Mentor and Protege Arts Initiative” after Martin Scorsese and Stephen Frears. The program, started by Rolex, selects world famous artists to mentor rising stars.