Venice Film Festival Adds Zhang Ziyi to Jury

Ziyi will attend the 81st Venice International Film Festival this year. She will serve as a jury member of the prestigious film festival that will be held from 28 August to 7 September 2024.

Chaired – as previously announced on May 8 – by French actress Isabelle Huppert, the International Jury of the Venezia 81 Competition will also include members: American director and screenwriter James Gray; British director and screenwriter Andrew Haigh; Polish director, screenwriter and producer Agnieszka Holland; Brazilian director and screenwriter Kleber Mendonça Filho; Mauritanian director, screenwriter and producer Abderrahmane Sissako; Italian director and screenwriter Giuseppe Tornatore; German director and screenwriter Julia von Heinz; and Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi. La Biennale di Venezia

Back in 2004, Ziyi was invited to join the jury of the 61st Venice Film Festival, but had to decline. She was busy filming Memoirs of a Geisha in the United States.

W China July 2024

W China July 2024

While Ziyi was in Paris, a few days before the screening of She’s Got No Name at the 77th Cannes Film Festival, she accepted various interviews and photoshoots. Earlier, we had the chance to see a glimpse of this photoshoot for W China in the Vlog the actress released about her stay in France, but the six magazine covers and photo session are now online. For their “Icon Issue”, W collaborated with the renowned Japanese photographer Yoshihiko Ueda and the result is simply breathtaking.

A short film directed by Milo Chiavarino-Annaud was also released to promote the release of the magazine.

“She’s Got No Name” Cannes Press Conference

Right after the photocall, the director and cast of She’s Got No Name sat down for a press conference at the 77th Cannes Film Festival. The majority of the questions of the press were directed at Peter Chan and Ziyi. The latter talked about her preparation for her role and confessed her disappointment after noticing one of her favorite scenes not making the final cut.

Shahrbanoo Golmohamadi of Gazettely gave the movie a rating of 9/10 and published an extensive review.

At the core of She’s Got No Name is Zhang Ziyi’s intensely moving lead performance as Zhan-Zhou. She brings quiet dignity to a character coping with unspeakable trauma. Subtle glimpses of her humanity shine through even in Zhan-Zhou’s darkest moments. We feel her inner strength slowly reawakening as her story is told.

“She’s Got No Name” Cannes Photocall

Yesterday morning, the cast of She’s Got No Name were all reunited to attend a photocall at the 77th Cannes Film Festival.

“She’s Got No Name” Cannes Premiere

Yesterday night was the worldwide premiere of She’s Got No Name at the 77th Cannes Film Festival. The director Peter Chan and the cast members including Ziyi, Lei Jiayin, Yang Mi, Li Xian, Da Peng and Ci Sha were all present for the occasion. Ziyi wore a transcendent dress designed by Maison Margiela to both events that night: first a special ceremony for the Chinese edition of W Magazine and second, the red carpet and screening of the movie.

The movie received a three-minute standing ovation at the end of the screening. Nonetheless, a few walked out before the end, mostly because they deemed the movie too long or too violent. Ziyi’s performance definitely didn’t deceive anyone. As for the critical reception, it is very quiet so far. Lee Marshall from Screen Daily is the first to come forward. Here is an excerpt.

In some ways it’s an unashamedly old-school exercise, one where every tattered cheongsam dress, bloodstained floorboard and iron prison grate has a tactile quality. It’s old fashioned too in tricks like the use of slow-motion footage to drive home poignant moments, or the soft halation effects that bring a mist of memory to the film’s black-and-white flashbacks. But She’s Got No Name gives this historic cause celebre contemporary relevance by first teasing the story as a lurid true-crime tale before revealing it to be a drama of domestic abuse.

In a country that only passed its first domestic violence law in 2015, one that has been rocked recently by a series of high-profile cases and viral Weibo videos, Chan’s film is riding a wave that it should also help to augment. Overseas play will be helped by its widescreen allure, the return of of Zhang Ziyi as a leading lady, and a script that flirts with sentimentality but also has some other more interesting moves – for example, in the way it interlaces supporting characters like pig-headed police commissioner Xue Zhi-wu or Xi Lin, a playwright, journalist and divorcee who takes up the case of the so-called husband-butcher.

Arrival in Cannes

Only a few hours ago, Ziyi landed in France to attend the 77th Cannes Film Festival. We’ve uploaded many pictures of her arrival in the gallery.

More About “She’s Got No Name”

Yesterday, the official poster of She’s Got No Name was featured on the Screen‘s dailies for the 2nd day of the Cannes Film Festival.

Recently, Peter Chan gave an interview to The Hollywood Reporter in which he shared some anecdotes about the film. Here are some excerpts from the article.

“It was one of the most celebrated cases of vilifying domestic violence and even of women’s power way back in the ’40s,” Chan said on a recent afternoon in the Hong Kong office of his We Pictures and Changin’ Pictures production houses. “We tried to find the reason [for the murder], and we gave it a very feudal reason of beliefs that if your body is not whole, you would not get into your next life because otherwise, in ancient Chinese feudal beliefs, you would meet again — it doesn’t matter whether or not you kill him. So to the woman, it was like ‘OK, I’ll kill him in his life. I’ll dismember him so that it doesn’t matter if I go to jail, or be executed, at least I won’t see him again. I’ll be free of him.’ ”

Chan was first presented with the Zhan-Zhou story as a film possibility in 2016. To tap into the project’s possibilities as a piece of film noir, Chan and his team first looked to shooting in the northern city of Tianjin, which retained parts of its old city that more closely resembled 1940s Shanghai. They even considered shooting in London.

Eventually, Chan landed on the Hongkou District of Shanghai, known as “Little Tokyo” during World War I and also part of the city’s International Settlement district, which was featured in Steven Spielberg’s 1987 World War II drama Empire of the Sun. Remarkably, the district has until recently been left relatively untouched by modernization, in terms of the foundations of its architecture, at least. Chan found he could rebuild and fit out certain sites to resemble recaptured Shanghai over the decades. 

“It’s been one of the last districts to be developed,” explains Chan. “It’s now called North Bund, but it’s pretty untouched. We were behind one of the oldest cinemas in town — the Victory Cinema — and that whole neighborhood was where the early Shanghai film business was [in the 1920s]. It was like old Hollywood, so the buildings were modernized, but we were able to dress it all up like it was 1945.”

But Chan discovered he could only shut out the modern world for so long: “The funny thing was, the minute we started building, there were literally 40,000-50,000 people turning up to take photos for their social media accounts on the weekends. So they ended up blocking it all off.”

“I always like to wander away from my comfort zone,” says Chan. “I told Jake I want to make a film that doesn’t look like my films at all. There were many visual reference points, from Hong Kong photographer Fan Ho to Edward Hopper, and it doesn’t look like anything I have done before.”

“She’s Got No Name” New Poster, Stills and More

More and more information is surfacing online about Ziyi’s next film, She’s Got No Name. First of all, the premiere at the 77th Cannes Film Festival is rumored to be on May 24th, one day before the closing ceremony. A gorgeous and mysterious official English poster has also been released.

We’ve also uploaded the first official stills of Ziyi in the gallery.

Finally, an official press kit has also appeared online. Even though it may reveal a few spoilers here and there, it includes a lot of details: the main characters, the director’s intentions, the crew and more.