November 02, 2005


Chen Kaige's movie THE PROMISE has already opened in Chengdu, China

Chengdu, ah, Chengdu. Known for its beautiful embroidery, giant pandas, and now for the first screenings of the Chen Kaige movie, THE PROMISE. In order to qualify for the Academy Awards, THE PROMISE has to screen for a week in its home country and the evil geniuses behind the movie have looked at China and seen Chengdu and they have said, "It is good. Release our movie in one theater for one week only so that we may win a so-called Academy Award, like Sally Field, or Joan Crawford."

And so, starting October 1, THE PROMISE ran for one week in Chengdu.

Why haven't you heard about this? Why does no one talk about these screenings of the hotly anticipated martial arts film/fashion show a full two months before it hits screens all over the world? Because all the media in Chengdu has taken a vow of silence. And they're sticking to it. They will not report on THE PROMISE now, and they say they won't report on it when it is released in December. Why? Because the producers tried to yank them around and issued an order known as the Three No's:

*    NO #1: There shall be no arrangement for these reporters to view the movie.  If they want to see it, they will have to buy their own tickets.
*    NO #2: There will be no interviews with Chen Kaige and Chen Hong.  The reporters can go greet them at the airport and take photographs.  But there will be no interviews.
*    NO #3: There will be no negative comments about The Promise.

It's this last "NO" that has sent the reporters over the edge: no negative comments? They can't buy their own ticket and then write an honest review of the movie? That's BS, in any language. The media of Chengdu met in a teahouse and decided not to write a word about it. The theater owners (not the movie producers, but the poor theater owners who are hoping to make a living this week by booking in a hotly anticipated movie but quickly discovered they can't sell tickets if no one knows it's playing)  approached the press, offered them free tickets and even offered them free snacks and interviews with Chen Kaige. But Chen never called, and so the wall of silence stands: solid, imobile, silent. It's been up for one month now, and shows no sign of cracking.

As for why Chengdu was chosen for this one-week qualifying run of the movie? Apparently the producers tried Shanghai, Guangzhou, Nanjing and Hangzhou but no one in those cities would promise them no negative comments, so they went to Chengdu.

(Read more about it at EastSouthWestNorth)

November 2, 2005 at 10:13 AM in News | Permalink


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