Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles (2005)

Of all Yimou Zhang’s films of the last decade, the best is Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles.  For some strange reason, this movie never gained the traction that some of his other films have made.  From the dramas of the early nineties (like Raise the Red Lantern and To Live) to the martial arts films of the 2000s (like House of Flying Daggers and Hero), Zhang’s popular films are well known.  But a mid-2000s contemporary drama?  Not as much.  Ultimately, Zhang’s best work has been in period pieces.  In Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles, he has never been more modern. Continue reading

The Road Home (1999)

The Road Home is Yimou Zhang’s sweetest film.  It introduced another person with the Zhang surname (as far as I’m aware, they are not related), the beautiful and talented Ziyi Zhang.  Ziyi Zhang might be the most recognized Chinese actress in the world, with such roles as those in The Grandmaster, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, House of Flying Daggers, and Memoirs of a Geisha under her belt.  But, her role in this movie will always be my favorite of hers.  It is Ziyi Zhang at her youngest, playing a child caught up in childish things. Continue reading