February 14, 2006


Chen Kaige's THE PROMISE may have been deeply hated in the Chinese blogosphere, but it did give birth to the parody video A BLOODY CASE THAT STARTED FROM A STEAMED BUN which used footage from the movie and a mock-serious voice-over to recast the entire film as a true crime story. Creator Hu Ge enjoyed tremendous popularity and there was even the rumor of a sequel to incorporate footage from HERO as well.

But Chen Kaige is not amused. At a press conference in Berlin he said:

"We have decided to sue the filmmaker, Hu Ge, for damaging the copyright of 'The Promise.' I can't imagine a man could be so impudent."

Impudent? Ye Gads, sirrah! Verily that varlet deserves to be smacked about the face with your fancy glove. Chen Kaige's wife, Chen Hong, the producer of THE PROMISE, had a more measured, more sane, and yet somehow more mystifying response.

"People can express their own opinions on the Web. The video is nothing but personal behavior. After all, the Internet is an omnifarious world."


Someone's been hitting the dictionary again.

February 14, 2006 at 09:16 AM in News | Permalink


Wouldn't this fall under parody and not messing with the copyright? And maybe I'm wrong but I don't believe Hu Ge made money off of the film so it shouldn't really be a sue-able case? But its obvious who the courts will side with.

Posted by: anangbhai | Feb 14, 2006 12:57:22 PM

It's not so obvious at all who the courts will side with. The US Supreme Court sided with 2 Live Crew when they parodied Pretty Woman, in a very similar case, holding that it fell under fair use. If the law suit is brought in US courts, I think Hu Ge would have a very good chance of winning.

Of course, he probably can't afford a lawyer, and if the suit is brought in China, Chen Kaige can probably get the police to lock him away for the foreseeable future, as a recent NY Times article illustrated.

First cooperating with the Weinsteins while they butchered his film, now suing makers of spoofs. Chen Kaige should be ashamed of himself. He is rapidly losing the right to call himself an artist.

Posted by: David Austin | Feb 14, 2006 7:51:57 PM

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