September 25, 2006


I love Chinese audiences because they hate every major Chinese movie that comes along. They're like that parent who looks at the A on your report card and says, "Where's the A+?"

When CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON came out they all made fun of Chow Yun-fat's accent. When HERO came out Chinese audiences said that it either had no story or was a justification of the One China Policy. When HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS was released I can't remember many nice comments, and everyone in China took turns kicking THE PROMISE. All these movies made money in China, but it was almost like everyone felt they had to buy a ticket so they could hate on the films.

Now, THE BANQUET is out and it's getting mixed reviews as well with plenty of hate as a garnish. But there is one upcoming Chinese movie that is getting positive word of mouth. One movie that in some freakish twist no one in China seems to hate. Yet.


It's screening in Beijing right now to qualify for a "Best Foreign Film" Oscar nomination and China's press doesn't know what to make of the fact that people seem to like the movie. They say it's got good actors, a good story, and it looks nice. Even Gong Li is so moved by these comments which are, relatively speaking, like a big sloppy wet kiss from Chinese audiences that she's busting out all over:


(Thanks to MonkeyPeaches)

September 25, 2006 at 09:53 AM in News | Permalink


As a Chinese watching the movies you mentioned, I have to admit that I don't think they are "great", maybe entertaining at most. For a Chinese, these movies have diluted the essence of the martial arts form to pure exotic visual extravagance made for the "gweilo" - which is why these movie are seen as sellouts. In many ways, there are way too calculated. Take The Promise, using Japanese, Korean, Hong Kong stars may guarantee foreign screening rights, but the movie is a mess because it tries to sell to too many different niches. Is it supposed to be set in China? It seems to be more like Middle Earth for Asians. Admittedly, House Of Flying Daggers has its moments, and I think Ching Siu Tung is miles more creative that Yuen Wo Ping these days.

Posted by: Jubei | Sep 25, 2006 11:21:55 AM

Good news for "Golden Armor." I look forward to seeing though I thought that "Riding Alone" was almost as disappointing as "House of Flying Daggers" (both seem to me to be films that could have ended at least three times but kept trying to keep the audience on its toes by adding more twists and more complications for its own sake, sometimes forgetting the respective points of the films).

Posted by: Simon Abram | Sep 25, 2006 12:32:23 PM

Up the Gweilos! Yes! More diluted essence for our consumption as we're unable to take it full strength.

House of Flying Daggers sucked. It was boring. How can you blame that on us innocent Gweilos?! Ziyi was boring and this Gweilo did not enjoy it. CTHD bored me so much I've only ever been able to watch about five minutes of it. I must be one of those posh Gweilos. I like typing 'Gweilos' I think it's got 'round eye' beat by a mile.

Anywho, funny entry Grady.

Posted by: Sreamingmimi | Sep 25, 2006 2:07:29 PM

I'm not blaming gweilos for these movies. I'm blaming the studios, producers and directors for imagining that this is what the international market likes. There's a difference. I apologize if I made it sound offensive.

Also, there's a difference between those appreciate good cinema and the mass market. It is the mass market the studios are targeting. I can't imagine a Chinese film that lack "sumptuous" visuals, a internationally known cast and rich colours to make a decent killing at the US box office. Which is why most of the big budget films marketed abroad are period epics. I mean love to see a Chinese sci-fi epic but I suppose they haven't gotten there yet.

As an example, do you expect Crazy Stone (a low budget modern day crime comedy) to make it big outside China??

Posted by: Jubei | Sep 25, 2006 8:42:51 PM

I'll be surprised if Curse of the Golden Flower makes the cut for the Oscar consideration. It may sound like a good movie, but you have to admit the Oscar is getting mighty tired of this Chinese chopsockey CTHD wannabe.

Posted by: Dana | Sep 25, 2006 11:18:04 PM

Jubei- I wouldn't expect it. No. The market is the market. But the only thing 'sumptious' and Chinese I've ever gone to the theatres to see, even though I had the dvd, was 'Hero'.

I think it's self-destructive for the Chinese film industry for Chinese to reject a film because it's sumptious, with an internationally known cast and rich colors. A film is either good or it isn't. That should be what it's judged on. It's sounds silly to say 'Oh, this was meant to appeal to more people than us. Phooey on it, then!'. And at the same time there's Chinese audiences for Hollywood films. Well, those aren't aimed specifically at Chinese audiences. It's perplexing that.

Posted by: screamingmimi | Sep 26, 2006 8:10:19 AM

""I'll be surprised if Curse of the Golden Flower makes the cut for the Oscar consideration""

It did make it.

Posted by: kip | Nov 5, 2006 2:03:12 AM

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