The authoress begins her essay with a concise presentation of the category of the 'filmic author' which is of dual nature (the author as an originator of artwork, the person with biography visible in the text or the author as a unique system of symbols, 'style', 'structure' and 'working method'). She describes the ways the author is present in Zhang Yimou's films and argues that what characterizes Zhang's oeuvre is that the recurrence of underlying structure is hardly visible. On the contrary - what we see is the principle of constant change; in his films we encounter the polymorphic nature of the figure of the author/s in which the same person is incarnated in. Obviously, some 'common denominators' in Zhang's films can be found but they will be of different type that those that usually allow to apply a uniting formula towards the author-director. Believing that the author happens 'to be' rather than 'is' or 'is appointed' by some authorities, the authoress concludes that in the case of Zhang, the phenomenon of authorship lies in incorporating in the texture of the film of the so-called Chinese voices, author's traces (or signatures, signature-symbols, i.a. the functional use of red – field of waving sorghum in Red Sorghum or rolls of fabric in Ju Dou), that can be tracked down through an in-depth textual analysis of the film, which is something more than just an analysis of the artist's personality.
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SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.