"Farewell My Concubine" director Chen Kaige says he follows his heart — and not box office predictions — when he chooses his projects, rebuffing criticism that he and his contemporaries have compromised their artistic integrity in exchange for commercial success.
"If you asked me to choose between making a good movie and making a box office hit, I will choose to make a good movie. I have worked in the film industry for so long. There is no reason for me to betray my heart," Chen told The Associated Press late Tuesday, on the sidelines of a screening of his new costume drama, "Sacrifice," at the Hong Kong International Film Festival.
Chen and fellow director Zhang Yimou are part of China's famed "fifth generation" of directors — the first generation of Chinese filmmakers to gain attention in the West as their country emerged from economic and political isolation in the 1980s. They wowed critics with their gritty portrayals of rural life in films like "Yellow Earth" and "Red Sorghum."
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