January 18, 2007


Angry old Chinese menChina's SARFT (State Administration of Radio Film and Television) has announced that young people rule and old people drool. They've established a fund to promote good movies and you have to be under 45 to qualify for the US$64,267 for each script that they approve. Next year you'll have to be under 40. So far, they've awarded the money to 16 young directors, including Jia Zhangke, Ning Hao and Wang Xiaoshuai. Ning Hao looks to be the first one to start shooting his fund-winning film, CRAZY RACING CAR.

The reason given for starting the fund is that China needs more sophisticated, and more creative scripts and movies. Then:

"An official of the administration said crowd-pleasing entertainment productions filled Chinese theaters, especially those directed by Zhang Yimou, Chen Kaige and Feng Xiaogang, the fifth generation of directors in China. These big-budget movies earned a lot of money rather than a good reputation because of their lack of creativity, culture and philosophy, the official said."

Ouch! That burns.

January 18, 2007 at 10:00 AM in News | Permalink


China's policies have no rhyme or reason. Perhaps this fund was created so that the fund-creators can somehow siphon off the funds for themselves.

Posted by: gurl | Jan 18, 2007 10:15:23 AM

So wait, a fund for more sophisticated and creative scripts/films, with greater cultural and philosophical relevance is created, and the first project out of this is called CRAZY RACING CAR?

Perhaps it's a metaphor for the tumultuous times we live in, not unlike the often-overlooked pacifist subtext and implicit criticism of the Vietnam War that made the original THE LOVE BUG the rich and rewarding viewing experience that it was, debated endlessly by pipe-smoking university professors and still revered as a masterpiece of socio-political criticism.

Posted by: Rhythm-X | Jan 18, 2007 10:32:27 AM

Strange as it may sound when talking about SARFT, this might actually be a good idea on their part. Jia Zhangke, Ning Hao and Wang Xiaoshuai are all very talented, underfunded directors (and just a few of many who are unknown, I imagine).

As for Zhang Yimou, Feng Xiaogang and Chen Kaige, the larger the budgets they get for making movies, the worse their directing gets. Maybe somebody should impose a US$64,267 budget LIMITATION on any scripts those three decide to direct in the next few years. This might just even up Chinese cinema all around.

Posted by: LinLang | Jan 18, 2007 10:42:40 AM

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