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One Second Zhang Yimou

Annual Top Films Lists

Top 150 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2019: #138. One Second – Zhang Yimou

Top 150 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2019: #138. One Second – Zhang Yimou

One Second

Following his well-received martial arts action comeback Shadow (2018), Zhang Yimou heads back to low-key period drama with his next project One Second. Produced by Huanxi Media, the film is headlined by Zhang Yi (who appeared in Jia Zhangke’s Mountains May Depart, 2015). While Yimou received considerable critical backlash for his 2016 Matt Damon led Hollywood epic The Great Wall, he is still best remembered for his action epics, such as the Jet Li headlined Hero (2002) and 2004’s House of Flying Daggers. However, Yimou remains one of China’s most formidable filmmakers, a Golden Bear winner and two-time Golden Lion winner, Yimou’s early works yielded considerable accolades. Competing in Berlin four times (Red Sorghum, 1988; The Road Home, 1999; Hero, 2002; A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop, 2009), he took home the Bear in 1988, the Jury Grand Prix in 2000 and the Alfred Bauer in 2002. Yimou has had his greatest success in Venice, where he won the Golden Lion in 1992 for The Story of Qiu Ju and in 1999 for Not One Less, the Silver Lion in 1991 for Raise the Red Lantern, and another competition entry in 1997 with Keep Cool. He’s competed three times in Cannes (Ju Dou, 1990; To Live, 1994; Shanghai Triad, 1995), winning Grand Prize of the Jury and Ecumenical Jury Prize in 1994 and the Technical Grand Prize in 1995. Lately, Yimou’s works have tended to be invited to out-of-comp slots, such as 2014’s Coming Home (read review) in Cannes and 2018’s Shadow in Venice.

Gist: Co-written by Zou Jingzhi, the project is set in the mid-1970s in northwestern China, concerning a movie fan in a remote farmland and a homeless female vagabond.

Release Date/Prediction: Yimou began production in Dunhuang in July of 2018. We assume One Second will appear somewhere on the festival circuit in 2019, most likely in an out-of-comp slot in Cannes or Venice and potentially with a different title.

Los Angeles based Nicholas Bell is's Chief Film Critic and covers film festivals such as Sundance, Berlin, Cannes and TIFF. He is part of the critic groups on Rotten Tomatoes, The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) and GALECA. His top 3 for 2021: France (Bruno Dumont), Passing (Rebecca Hall) and Nightmare Alley (Guillermo Del Toro). He was a jury member at the 2019 Cleveland International Film Festival.

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