David Bloom is a Deadline contributor.
It was a two-continent crush of crazy at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood today when Feng Xiaogang became the first Chinese director to sinks his hands and shoes into wet cement for posterity at the storied venue.
Feng, who has directed more than 20 mostly comedy films in China, is having the U.S. premiere of his historical drama Back to 1942 — China’s entry for the Foreign Language Film Oscar — at the theater this evening. It’s part of a weekend-long “panorama” featuring screenings of some of Feng’s notable films, sponsored by the Chinese government media office and the city of Beijing’s bureau of radio, film and TV. Back to 1942, set during the horrific World War II famine that killed millions in China, features a raft of notable Chinese stars along with Tim Robbins and Adrien Brody.
Theater executives said they were surprised and a bit overwhelmed by the crush of media, actors, directors and others who flew over from China to take part in Feng’s imprinting event. Security struggled to both appease the fire marshal and manage the crowd jammed into the theater’s relatively small courtyard.