Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Western thoughts on Chinese Cinema

My friend has been living in China for years, and he translates Chinese and Japanese science texts.

Here are his thoughts on Chinese cinema:

I thought Shaolin Soccer was cute - think I saw it on a plane
flight and on cable. I thought Crouching Tiger was OK but quite liked
House of Flying Daggers. However, both of those two were co-
productions and Shaolin was a Hong Kong film.

Almost all of the regular Chinese cinema is complete and utter shite.
Lots of period dramas with people flying about with swords, crap fables
about the Monkey King, Pig, and company with terrible special effects,
or laughably heroic Chinese Red Army forces defeating the eeevilll
Japanese invaders in WWII.

  As for the period dramas - EVERY drama is dubbed with the same 2 guys
and 1 or 2 girls doing all of the speaking, which I've heard is ostensibly to
standardize the spoken Chinese language. Whatever the reason, you hear
the same voices in tons of different dramas. Creepy.

As for the fables - I don't mind fables per se, but the SFX are on
part with Sid & Marty Krofft circa the 1970s. Can't be bothered to watch
such drivel in the 21st century.

As for the WWII movies - my boxing coach and I were discussing this
the other day. We agreed that there is one and only one movie, Assembly,
that is actually any good (below, press CC for subtitles):

As he mentioned, he even noticed one Chinese WWII flick where the
Chinese soldiers were carrying AK-47s. These movies are little more than
propaganda ads that make John Wayne WWII flicks look like bastions of
realism in comparison.

Anyway, that's my take on Chinese things cinematic...