Almost right before Zhang Yimou and Chen Kaige catapulted mainland Chinese cinema to international stardom in mid- and late 1980s, an earlier generation of filmmakers, the self-taught Wu Tianming prominently among them, had whipped up a "quiet" storm. Although less well known internationally, this melodramatic cinema was hugely refreshing and influential within China. One-time head of the important Xi'an Film Studios, Wu was also instrumental in the rise of Fifth Generation directors such as Zhang Yimou. Wu lived in the United States for 5 years following 1989 before returning and resuming a prominent role in the Chinese film industry.
Co-sponsored by ChinaFilm Project, the Center for East Asian Studies, and the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations