films seen
average score
China - 66 years old
Alive and kicking
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Feng helped usher in a new era for Chinese cinema, moving it away from rural drama to urban genre. He may not be the most unique, gifted or artistic of directors, but his oeuvre holds some pretty nifty, often undiscovered gems.


The Banquet

Ye Yan
2006 / 131m - China
The Banquet poster

If you can stomach the classic tragedy, a world of unmatched cinematographic beauty opens itself and provides one of the most stunningly beautiful action films ever released.

If You Are the One 2

Fei Cheng Wu Rao 2
2010 / 120m - China
Comedy, Romance
If You Are the One 2 poster

If You Are the One

Fei Cheng Wu Rao
2008 / 130m - China
Comedy, Romance
If You Are the One poster

Be There or Be Square

Bu Jian Bu San
1998 / 103m - China
Comedy, Romance
Be There or Be Square poster

If You Are the One 3

Fei Cheng Wu Rao 3
2023 / 119m - China
Comedy, Romance
If You Are the One 3 poster

Thirteen years after the second film, Xiaogang Feng decides to bring his beloved characters back. It's not just a simple reprise though, Feng adds a little sci-fi to the mix and forces Shu Qi to take on a double role. I think few people are going to complain about that, I certainly didn't.

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Qin and Xiaoxiao are separated again, after Xiaoxiao decides to travel around the world, trying to rid the beaches of garbage. Qin is lonely and when his friend develops a new android model, he is gifted one in the shape of Xiaoxiao. He's finally able to settle down again, but then Xiaoxiao returns from her trip.

You Ge and Shu Qi feel comfortable in their roles, there are some amusing comedy bits and Feng's clean, colorful styling gives the film a little extra flair. The romance is tepid though and two hours is a bit too long for a simple film like this. It's pleasant enough filler, but I don't think we need a fourth part.

Only Cloud Knows

Zhi You Yun Zhi Dao
2019 / 132m - China
Drama, Romance
Only Cloud Knows poster

Xiaogang Feng's latest appears to be a manipulative dramatic romance (and it truly is), but the fact that the story is based on people Feng knew in real life at least gives him somewhat of an excuse. Not that it suddenly adds a ton of extra layers and dramatic weight, it's just the knowledge that the plot isn't completely tailored to be the biggest tearjerker possible.

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After Simon's wife dies, he takes her ashes to visit all the places she held dearest. During his trip we see flashbacks of the couple. The way they met each other, where they built up their lives together (rural New Zealand is a beautiful place) and how tragedy cut down their time together short.

Feng goes a little overboard with the music and the cinematography is a little too cheesy, but the performances are nice, the direction is effective and even though the runtime's just a little excessive, it never gets dull. People who dislike romance shouldn't even attempt to come near this one, but otherwise it's not a bad film.

I Am Not Madame Bovary

Wo Bu Shi Pan Jin Lian
2016 / 128m - China
Comedy, Drama
I Am Not Madame Bovary poster

Back to 1942

Yi Jiu Si Er
2012 / 145m - China
Back to 1942 poster


Tangshan Dadizhen
2010 / 135m - China
Aftershock poster

Big Shot's Funeral

Da Wan
2001 / 103m - China
Comedy, Drama
Big Shot's Funeral poster

Sorry Baby

Mei Wan Mei Liao
1999 / 95m - China
Comedy, Drama
Sorry Baby poster

Trademark mix of comedy and drama that brought fame to Xiaogang Feng, not in the least because of how different it was from other Chinese films at that time. Not a very remarkable film otherwise, but good fun nonetheless, with decent performances, a funny script and solid ending. Feng rarely disappoints.

The Dream Factory

Jia Fang Yi Fang
1997 / 90m - China
Comedy, Drama
The Dream Factory poster

One of Xiaogang Feng's earliest films. Feng has been a crucial element in the rebranding of Chinese cinema. He was one of the first directors to move away from the countryside, introducing more uplifting urban stories and more contemporary characters. The Dream Factory is a good example of this evolution.

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Four friends start a little company, where they help people act out their dreams. The four do a little intake of their client's wishes, after which they start writing scenarios and perform them together with the client. It's a job that won't make them rich, but as their company grows they learn a lot about the people they help out.

You Ge is no doubt the star of the film, but it's nice to see Feng himself in a supporting role. The performances are solid, the assignments are fun and the pacing is solid. It does get a little repetitive after a while and Feng's direction isn't that remarkable, but it's a decent film that serves as an important milestone for Chinese cinema.


Ji Jie Hao
2007 / 124m - China
Drama, War
Assembly poster

Cell Phone

Shou Ji
2003 / 107m - China
Comedy, Drama
Cell Phone poster

A Sigh

Yi Sheng Tan Xi
2000 / 111m - China
Drama, Romance
A Sigh poster

Early Xiaogang Feng that is surprisingly traditional. A Sigh a romantic drama featuring a lot of torn and broken characters. The love triangle is nothing new, neither is the execution. It's not bad, but I've come to expect more from Feng, plenty of others could've directed this film and the outcome would've been just the same.


Fang Hua
2017 / 135m - China
Drama, Romance
Youth poster

A pretty disappointing film from Feng, which oddly mimics the kind of cinema he helped China to move away from some 20 years ago. Youth reminded me of a film Yimou Zhang could have made during the 90s, only without the natural grace and visual splendor that made Zhang's films stand out.

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Youth follows Xiaoping, a young country bumpkin joining a military dance troupe in the hope of finding some respect and appreciation. It doesn't take long before the bullying starts though and when the war erupts she is sent to a frontline hospital to tend to the wounded soldiers. Unfazed, she accepts her destiny and becomes an overnight hero.

Visually I expected more from Feng. The film doesn't look bad, but there are few memorable moments, even though it's clear the budget wasn't lacking. Actors do a decent job, but there are no stand-out performances. It's the score that is by far the weakest element though. It's loud and saccharine, leaving a bitter aftertaste. While not terrible, Youth simple isn't good enough for a director like Feng.