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Born: Beijing, China, 12 August 1952.

Chen Kaige (JPG, 16 KB)

One of the most prominent and accomplished of the post-Cultural Revolution Chinese directors. Son of Chen Huaikai, also a well-known film director, he was forced at 14 by the Cultural Revolution to interrupt school and work as a rubber plantation, farmer, soldier, and factory hand. He entered the Beijing Film Academy in 1978. Following some shorts and television work, Chen created three colourful features, all set in China's recent past: Yellow Earth, The Big Parade, and King of Children. After leaving China for a stint in New York City (1987-90), Chen returned to his homeland to film Life on a String, a fable set in remote Mongolia about a blind man searching for a magic cure to recover sight. His 1993 feature, Farewell My Concubine, shared the Palme d'Or at Cannes (with Jane Campion's The Piano) and further widened his international reputation. Chen's films are renowned both for their emotional delicacy and their lavish spectacle, using an extensive palette of colour and state-of-the-art film technology. His cinematographer for his first two films was Zhang Yimou, later a director in his own right. Chen writes his own scripts.

Ephraim Katz, The Film Encylopedia

Chinastar - Chen Kaige
Internet Movie Database

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This page was last updated on 23 July 2000.