May 01, 2006
While I'm pilfering things from the Economist, an article discusses the woeful state of China's cinemas even while it's cinema productions are becoming world beaters. Full article needs subscription so I've put it below the jump.
Everyone is in love with Chinese cinema. Except the Chinese
posted by Simon on 05.01.06 at 09:33 AM in the China history, education & culture category.
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The Current State of Chinese Cinema
Excerpt: Simon World has an interesting article from the Economist about the current state of Chinese cinema and the challenges it faces. Chinese Cinema...
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Maybe the cause is that the public are pirating the Chinese films, an appropraite bum rap.posted by: da on 05.01.06 at 12:24 PM [permalink]
away from distribution and exhibition issues, the simple (but painful) reason is that 90 percent of movies made are just no good. Try to make a list of top 10 mainland movies of last five years and it isn't easy. Even the foreign film festival favorites tend to be painfully slow and self-obsessed and wouldn't get a look in were it not for their 'oriental' (sorry) appeal. watched 'bao ber in love' t'other night - looked like it was made by a chimpanzee with a camera in one hand and a bottle of beer in the other. shockingly bad.posted by: mike on 05.01.06 at 01:11 PM [permalink]
I would disagree and say that many of the Chinese film festival films are quite good; although they tend towards sentimentality, many talented directors such as Jia Zhangke, Li Yang and Yang Zhang are making good films.
I think piracy is definitely a problem, as are the cinemas themselves. There need to be some brand spanking new cinemas made, and ones that enforce laws on spitting and gross/obnoxious (not to mention unhealthy) behavior. I will never forget going to see "The Rock" in a cinema in Changsha. The movie did not have advertised start times - you just walked in and sat down; they would start playing the film as soon as they had finished and rewound the reel, which usually means you're about halfway through the film when you arrive.posted by: HK Dave on 05.01.06 at 02:49 PM [permalink]
If there was a guarantee of buttered salted popcorn and English subtitles I'd be out to the movies at least once a week.posted by: Feng 37 on 05.01.06 at 05:43 PM [permalink]
"I would disagree and say that many of the Chinese film festival films are quite good; although they tend towards sentimentality, many talented directors such as Jia Zhangke, Li Yang and Yang Zhang are making good films."
could you give some examples because I have racked my brain and failed to come up with any? Even the likes of pickpocket or blind shaft are interesting rather than actually good in a cinematic sense. others like peacock are just dull. who wants to to the cinema (rather than dvd at home) and watch what are basically puffed up tv movies (or stage plays)?
compare china's output with korea, japan or hk and the you see what a tedious, ego-filled, over-directed movie world we are forced to live in.posted by: mike on 05.02.06 at 12:20 PM [permalink]
Let's be as realistic as possible, and talk about "simple economics", or rather, plain old, common sense. They say, 10Yuan for a pirated DVD, and 40-120Yuan for an admission ticket to a run-down theater - I say, DVD looks pretty good, and the thing is, I make over a 100 times more money than the average, potential movie goer in China - so what's this about "less regulation and more competition". Why should I pay more for something I can have for less - it's stupid. The "Economist" should re-evaluate its own name, and change it to the "Idiots", for failing to see "simple economics" in action - the "Economist" -ha, what a joke.posted by: Show Biz on 05.02.06 at 03:47 PM [permalink]
"Why should I pay more for something I can have for less - it's stupid."
Well, exactly. At its core, this is the same issue that faces cinema owners in the United States. If you're going to create or maintain a popcorn culture of regular movie-goers, you have to offer more than just the viewing of a movie. You need to give people a reason to get out of the house, go through the time and expense, and get that premium value out of it.
Cinema will not progress much further unless it the business is completely rethought and patrons are either getting a unique experience, OR they're going to get an opportunity to see something they cannot see elsewhere.
Mo bettah, a combination of the two.posted by: David on 05.04.06 at 07:21 PM [permalink]
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I've managed to save up roughly $56452 in my bank account, but I'm not sure if I should buy a house or not. Do you think the market is stable or do you think that home prices will decrease by a lot?posted by: Courtney Gidts on 05.23.06 at 06:21 PM [permalink]