Where EAST meets the Northwest
Asian Reporter web extra, January 25, 2022
Renowned Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou poses for photographers at the
premiere of the film Shadow at the 75th edition of the Venice Film
Festival in Venice, Italy, in this September 6, 2018 file photo. Zhang is
promising a simpler opening ceremony for Februaryís Beijing Winter Games with a
bold and unprecedented way of lighting the Olympic flame. (Photo by Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP,
Filmmaker Zhang Yimou returns for Olympics opening ceremony
BEIJING (AP) ó Renowned Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou is promising a simpler
opening ceremony for Februaryís Beijing Winter Games with a bold and
unprecedented way of lighting the Olympic flame.
Zhang, who directed an awe-inspiring opening ceremony for the Summer Olympics
in Beijing in 2008, is returning in the same role for the 2022 Games, according
to Chinese state media.
He told the official Xinhua News Agency that his team has come up with a bold
idea for the lighting of the flame and the design of the cauldron that is in
line with environmental protection and low-carbon emissions.
"I think itís totally innovative and people will be surprised," he was quoted
by Xinhua as saying.
The February 4 ceremony will have 3,000 performers, a sharp drop from 15,000
in 2008, and last less than 100 minutes because of the cold weather and the
COVID-19 pandemic, Xinhua said. It will be held at the "Birdís Nest" National
Stadium, the same wavy, latticed structure used for the 2008 Games.
Zhang told Xinhua that the theme of the ceremony will be different, saying
that times have changed and the world needs a new vision in the wake of the
"In 2008, the Olympics was a brilliant stage and chance for our country to
show ourselves," he said. "Itís different now. Chinaís status in the world, the
image of the Chinese, and the rise of our national status, everything is totally
Zhang, who is about 70 years old, directed three films nominated for Best
Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards including Ju Dou in 1990,
Raise the Red Lantern in 1991, and Hero in 2003.
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