films seen
11
average score
3.72*
nationality
China - 58 years old
status
Alive and kicking
more info

One of the directors who ushered in a new era of Chinese cinema. Modern romance in urban settings became Zhang's signature, a far cry from the films of China's fifth gen directors. Has a rich and impressive oeuvre worth exploring.

Rare treats

Spring Subway

by Yibai Zhang
Also known as
Kaiwang Chuntian De Ditie
Specifics
2002 / 93m - China
Genre
Romance
More info:
rating
4.5*/5.0*
toplist position
Spring Subway poster

Zhang does a magnificent job at both romantic and dramatic angles and delivers a beautifully shot and scored film, revolving around a lovable couple.

About Love

by Ten Shimoyama, Chih-yen Yee, Yibai Zhang
Specifics
2005 / 102m - Japan, China
Genre
Romance
More info:
rating
4.5*/5.0*
toplist position
About Love poster

If romance isn't your thing this anthology probably isn't going to persuade you, but within the genre this is definitely one of the better offerings out there.

The good stuff

I Belonged to You

by Yibai Zhang
Also known as
Cong Ni De Quan Shi Jie Lu Guo
Specifics
2016 / 112m - China
Genre
Romance
More info:
rating
4.0*/5.0*
I Belonged to You poster

Yibai Zhang's talent is beyond questioning. The stronger bits of his latest effort are stunning, dressed up in lush visuals and backed up by a strong soundtrack.

Curiosity Kills the Cat

by Yibai Zhang
Also known as
Hao Qi Hai Shi Mao
Specifics
2006 / 93m - China
Genre
Drama, Mystery
More info:
rating
4.0*/5.0*
Curiosity Kills the Cat poster

Lost Indulgence

by Yibai Zhang
Also known as
Mi Guo
Specifics
2008 / 100m - China
Genre
Drama
More info:
rating
4.0*/5.0*
toplist position
Lost Indulgence poster

Some lovely visuals, a strong score and some neat little touches to lighten up the atmosphere from time to time and what you have is quality drama

Eternal Moment

by Yibai Zhang
Also known as
Jiang Ai
Specifics
2011 / 108m - China
Genre
Drama, Romance
More info:
rating
4.0*/5.0*
toplist position
Eternal Moment poster

Stylishly visualized, strongly acted and pleasantly diverse, Eternal Moment is another great film in Yibai Zhang's oeuvre

Run for Love

by Qunshu Gao, Hu Guan, Hua-Tao Teng, Meng Zhang, Yibai Zhang
Also known as
Zai Shijie De Zhongxin Huhuan Ai
Specifics
2016 / 137m - China
Genre
Romance
More info:
rating
4.0*/5.0*
toplist position
Run for Love poster

There are no weak shorts, one exceptional piece and enough variation to breeze through its 140 minutes running time.

Solid pieces

Back In Time

by Yibai Zhang
Also known as
Cong Cong Na Nian
Specifics
2014 / 119m - China
Genre
Drama, Romance
More info:
rating
3.5*/5.0*
Back In Time poster

The Longest Night in Shanghai

by Yibai Zhang
Also known as
Yoru no Shanghai
Specifics
2007 / 110m - China, Japan
Genre
Drama, Romance
More info:
rating
3.5*/5.0*
The Longest Night in Shanghai poster

The inoffensive

My People, My Country

by Kaige Chen, Hu Guan, Hao Ning, Muye Wen, Zheng Xu, Xiaolu Xue, Yibai Zhang
Also known as
Wo He Wo De Zu Guo
Specifics
2019 / 158m - China
Genre
Drama
More info:
rating
3.0*/5.0*
My People, My Country poster

There's a lot of flag-waving and chest-thumping going on here, but look past that and you'll find a decent anthology celebrating the achievements of the little people, helmed by some of China's prime directors. It was a little too sentimental and overdone in places, but it wasn't as terrible as I had initially feared it would be.

Dubious filler

The Day We Lit Up the Sky

by Yibai Zhang, Yan Han
Also known as
Ran Ye Shao Nian De Tian Kong
Specifics
2021 / 108m - China
Genre
Comedy, Music
More info:
rating
2.0*/5.0*
The Day We Lit Up the Sky poster

Disappointing. (Modern) dance flicks are hot property right now and it's clear China is in no position to let a fad like that pass. I don't belong to the target audience of films like this, but with Yibai Zhang and Yan Han helming the film I did have certain hopes and expectations going in. It's a change this turned out to be a low point for both directors.

A group of young failures are tired of being laughed at all the time. When they hear about a local dance festival, they want to enter the competition, for once committing to a goal. The problem is that they can't dance. They find a tutor, a young girl growing up believing she is the daughter of Sammi Cheng. With her help, they quickly improve, but time is running out and drama hides around every corner.

I'm not a dance expert, but even I could see the level of execution isn't very high here. Zhang and Han try to make up for it with light comedy, but that's a pretty poor solution. The music is also atrocious, the CG is subpar and though the ending of the film isn't quite as expected, it's still pretty cheesy. At least the two manage to shoot some pretty pictures and the performances aren't too bad, but that's not enough to salvage this film.