Chinese Movie Industry’s Ambitions Tempered by Realism

March 23, 2010 — 1 Comment

I don’t get the title.

But this is coming from Aiya They Didn’t.

GT: Do you see many Chinese films in US cinemas?

Rosen: There are not many Chinese films in the US, and the few Chinese films that are available in the US were directed by famous directors, such as Zhang Yimou, Ang Lee, and so on. There are several types of Chinese films that have played here.

Martial arts films are one type, such as Hero (Yingxiong) by Zhang Yimou and The Promise (Wuji) by Chen Kaige. The other type would be art films, such as those by Jia Zhangke, but these only get a limited release.

However, most Chinese films will never be shown in theaters here, because I think there simply isn’t enough of an audience for them. This is also true for most foreign language films. They are more likely to appear on DVD than to be shown in theaters.

Up to now, the most successful Chinese film has been Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Wohu Canglong), the second most successful was Hero, and then Fearless (Huo Yuanjia).

The most successful Chinese films at the box office in the West have all been martial arts films, where language is less important than the action on the screen.

These are some of my comments,

Instead of Rosen suggesting China focus on big historical blockbuster to compete with Hollywood films, he should have only suggested “you should dub your films in English” – I mean, even great films produced and directed by American fave Clint Eastwood suffered from the “why no dub version” threads online.

Just look at the percentage of Chinese films on the Top Grossing Foreign films. I think they’re doing pretty great as far a top grossing in the US compared to other foreign films.

What I would like to see is more Chinese films (and over all Asian films) being distributed more in cinemas… in my country. LOL The last Chinese film released here was Yimou’s Curse of the Golden Flower. AGES ago. So if China wants to have more distribution of their films, they could use their own embassies and consulates around the world to actually screen films locally, instead of the Beijing Screening for international distributors.

I bet most distributors watch them, like them but see no market for them unless they have action sequences. So in the end those distribution screenings are for nothing. China should take distribution of their films in their own hands, I’m sure a lot of people would go to the movies instead of watching online (at least many of you) if the films you want to watch are available locally.

Like I’ve said, I’m not trying to be biased, since I do watch films made in America. But if you take a look at what a Blockbuster is in America, which they are discussing in the interview, films like Transformers 2 and Twilight made big bucks. China’s productions just wonder how they can get that many people to watch their films… and not only martial art films, but other types of films too.

The fact is many foreign films don’t get wide releases because they aren’t mass-appealing (worldwide), most markets just are filled with a lot of crappy American films, and I’m not talking about District 9 or Up… but with things like Transformers 2 and All About Steve or any Jennifer Aniston rom-com. While crappy foreign films (because everyone has their crappy films) can’t even make it outside their country.

The other question is… why does Hollywood remake My Sassy Girl, when My Sassy Girl is a fine film. Why can’t they just release it with subtitles. What does China need to get a film like Internal Affairs in theaters in America, instead of getting The Departed winning Best Film at the Oscar?

Why is there a Best Foreign Film category?

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  1. personal.amy-wong.com – A Blog by Amy Wong. » Blog Archive » Distribution: Chinese Films to Open on Same Day in North America as in China - October 15, 2010

    […] with this deal, China expands that ever-expanding Chinese film market with hopefully more than just Martial Arts Films and/or Arthouse Films. And HOPEFULLY, this will mean more Chinese films down here as […]

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