Chen Kaige

Director, Screenwriter, Film lab worker
The son of a filmmaker from the earlier generation of Chinese socialist realism, Chen Kaige represents the Fifth Generation, filmmakers who attended Beijing Film Institute after the Cultural Revolution. After graduating ... Read more »
Born: 08/11/1952 in Beijing, CN

Filmography

Director (15)

Caught in the Web 2013 (Movie)

(Director)

Sacrifice 2012 (Movie)

(Director)

Turandot 2009 (Movie)

(Director)

Mei Lanfang 2008 (Movie)

(Director)

Chacun son cinema 2007 (Movie)

("Zhanxiou Village") (Director)

The Promise 2006 (Movie)

(Director)

Killing Me Softly 2003 (Movie)

(Director)

Together 2003 (Movie)

(Director)

The Emperor and the Assassin 1999 (Movie)

(Director)

Temptress Moon 1997 (Movie)

(Director)

Farewell My Concubine 1993 (Movie)

(Director)

Life on a String 1992 (Movie)

(Director)

King of the Children 1988 (Movie)

(Director)

The Big Parade 1987 (Movie)

(Director)

Yellow Earth 1984 (Movie)

(Director)
Writer (10)

Caught in the Web 2013 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Sacrifice 2012 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Turandot 2009 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Promise 2006 (Movie)

(Story By)

The Promise 2006 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Together 2003 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Emperor and the Assassin 1999 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Temptress Moon 1997 (Movie)

(From Story)

Life on a String 1992 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

King of the Children 1988 (Movie)

(Screenplay)
Actor (4)

Together 2003 (Movie)

Professor Yu Shifeng (Actor)

The Emperor and the Assassin 1999 (Movie)

Lu Buwei (Actor)

Last Emperor 1987 (Movie)

Captain of Imperial Guard (Actor)
Producer (3)

The Promise 2006 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Together 2003 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

The Emperor and the Assassin 1999 (Movie)

(Producer)

Biography

The son of a filmmaker from the earlier generation of Chinese socialist realism, Chen Kaige represents the Fifth Generation, filmmakers who attended Beijing Film Institute after the Cultural Revolution. After graduating in 1982, Chen and his classmates began a new wave in Chinese cinema by emphasizing the visual and aural qualities of film rather than traditional dramatic and literary elements. Their films have also been characterized by a strong political commitment which has led to objections from censors and has limited their domestic audience to students and intellectuals. Outside China, however, Chen Kaige and the other Fifth Generation filmmakers have drawn attention from an increasingly wide circle of film sophisticates who have hailed their efforts as the next most important New Wave. Chen has been awarded top festival prizes in Tokyo, Cannes and Berlin.

Relationships

Hong Huang

Wife

Chen Huaikai

Father
directed feature film "Song of Youth" denounced by Chen, then a Red Guard placed under house arrest during the Cultural Revolution

EDUCATION

New York University

New York , New York 1987 - 1990

Beijing Film Academy

Beijing 1982
studied in the directing department

Milestones

2005

Helmed the film "Master of the Crimson Armor/The Promise"; film earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Foreign-Language Film

2002

English-language dirctorial debut "Killing Me Softly", starring Heather Graham

1999

Directed the sweeping historical epic "The Emperor and the Assassin"

1996

Helmed "Temptress Moon"

1993

Film "Farewell My Concubine" banned in his native China

1976

After the Cultural Revolution, enrolled in the Peking Film Academy

Acted as an aide to the Viet Cong

Worked as a farmer and factory worker in Yunnan for three years during the Cultural Revolution

Emigrated to USA to teach for a year at NYU's film school and to study in New York (dates approximate)

Denounced his noted filmmaker father

At age 14 was rounded up and sent to clear forests on a rubber plantation in a remote mountain village in southern Yunnan Province

Returned to Beijing to take the film academy exam

Joined the army to escape the plantation; served for five years

Bonus Trivia

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Chen is the first Chinese director of his generation to have lived abroad for an exteneded period, to have learned English and begun to assimilate into the international artistic community."--Orville Schell (THE NEW YORK TIMES, January 27, 1991)

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"My experiences abroad make me want to experiment more. I always wanted to teach people through film, to give them a big message. But now what I feel I want to do is more to dream through film, hoping that maybe the film itself will be able to tell more than I can." --Chen Kaige (THE NEW YORK TIMES, January 27, 1991)

.

"I don't see the difference between life and art," says Chinese director Chen Kaige. "I believe everyone is playing one role or another."Chen, 41, knows about role playing. When he was 14, and away at a boy's school for high-ranking Chinese officials, became a member of the Red Guard which was promoting radical change within China in the 1960s. During this turbulent time, Chen publicly denounced his father, a director and former member of the Nationalist Party. He was chosen to be identified as a secret agent. Chen says, "Of course, I knew he wasn't a spy but I still did it." In this period, says Chen, "people were encouraged to hate each other." --Lisa Katzman, "Farewell's Bullhorn in a China shop" (DAILY NEWS, October 19, 1993)

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Member of the Red Guard during the Cultural Revolution.

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