Assorted English news

  1. The world seems to be concerned that Hollywood films are no longer beating the domestic films in China, read about it from the New York Times and the Guardian. Is this a temporary phenomenon or a lasting trend?
    How quickly do cultural works depreciate in value?  The Slate does an economic analysis here.
  2. China’s new first lady quickly becomes style icon for a nation.   This article on singer Peng Liyuan suggests that only those with “imperfect bodies,” such as Zhou Xun or Fan Bingbing (what flaws?) , will become fashion icons.
  3. Tennis player Li Na chosen for one of the seven covers of Times 100.
  4. Dreamworks Oriental, the Shanghai-based offshoot of the animation company that’s partly owned by the Shanghai Media Group, has announced Tibet Code as one of its first projects. More from Variety hereI wonder if Dreamworks will screen this in the U.S., and how much controversy that might raise.  Which mystery-adventure Hollywood movie will win, Tibet Code or The Graver Robbers’ Chronicles (which, by the way, has been translated into English and can be purchased on Amazon) .
  5. French businessman François-Henri Pinault returns two of the Zodiac bronze heads, a symbol of the raiding of the Summer Palace during when they were looted.  The two figures, the rat and the rabbit, were the focus of   Jackie Chan’s latest movie, CZ12, where Jackie Chan plays an artifact thief who  tries to steal the heads from a wealth French collector, an allusion to the heads’ previous owner Yves Saint Laurent.

7 thoughts on “Assorted English news


    “So Young” is anything but small with that cast and crew. I don’t think Iron Man 3 going be as successful had they had hope; Tiny Time is coming up, there’s a Wang Leehom/Zhang Ziyi movie, and a Huang Xiaoming/Deng Chao movie next month. I think piracy may be causing the Hollywood films a bit of money, but honestly if action/fantasy is all the Chinese movie goers wanted to see then “Saving General Yang” should’ve done pretty well at the box office. I think films like “So Young” or “Love Is Not Blind” are more relatable then a western superhero action film, which is why it’s doing (or did) so well at the box office. BTW did anyone see “Lost in Thailand” or “The Hangover II” or “Finding Mr. Right” or “Sleepless in Seattle”? I didn’t see any of the four so I’m just wondering if the similarities are close enough for the article to be implying “cheap adaptation” or in their words “cousins”.

    What do you guys think about the film changing The Mandarin to avoid the “yellow-peril caricature”? I feel like that’s more offensive to Chinese-Americans then Chinese people born and raised in China with no history of trying to fit into a culture that sees them as a threat or an outsider. And cutting Fan Bingbing from all other versions except the Mainland’s is just… isn’t it discrimination? They don’t want her face to appear in any version except the Mainland version because it’ll hurt the movie’s global appeal?

    Yep, I definitely have the exact “small and delicate features” as Zhou Xun. That’s the first lady in the video? She’s pretty.

    I don’t think anyone in the Icon or Artist category will be picked, it’s probably someone from Pioneers or Leaders category. Call me a feminism, but I hope it’s either Park Geun-hye or Joyce Banda or Roya Mahboob or Kimberly Blackwell or Aung San Suu Kyi or even Shonda Rhimes (cause I love Scandal that much).

    Is it me or is the NYT piece about François-Henri Pinault praising him for finally returning known stolen goods? It’s not like he’s returning it because he honestly felt bad about owning that piece, it’s because China’s “allow Christie’s to become the first international auction house to operate independently on the mainland”. This is nothing but a business transaction disguised as a gift or a show of good faith. And then the article somehow make a connection and when on to talk about (what else) China’s lack of free speech. By ending it that way, I feel like it’s implying Mr. Pinault is a good person to return a treasured artifact to the Chinese despite the fact that they are so horrible.

    • “Finding Mr. Right” was not cheap, and it’s not at all based off “Sleepless in Seattle.” Obviously, it’s no Iron Man with special effects, but it definitely has higher budget than a lot of rom-coms in China. I also feel like that idol thing is wrong. “Love is not Blind” definitely did not get famous because of Bai Baihe and Wen Zhang, who were known but not really idols at the time of filming. Same with “Lost in Thailand.”

      I’m personally pro any non-demonization of Chinese people to the West, so I think it’s good even if it’s for the wrong reasons. I’m actually really annoyed that a lot of Western media are talking about these changes as if it’s something to be concerned about, like they’re changing their culture to accommodate the evil Chinese. Hollywood has catered to special groups for so many years with so many white, male protagonists, what’s wrong with eliminating a few Chinese antagonists to cater to the Chinese audience?

      They didn’t cut Fan Bingbing, they added her for the Chinese version. I heard there was a big product placement for Yili milk in the last segment with her … I guess if it works? But at some point, people’s got to get tired of how these non-Chinese films keep give Chinese actors 5-second roles and then use them exclusively to advertise in China.

    • LMFAO. Here in Europe we’ve already heard about how Fan Bing Bing is a total marketing tool/scapegoat for access into the chinese industry. We Europeans only know BingBing because of those eye-catching dresses she likes to wear at the Cannes Festival. I hope she doesn’t actually feel honored for being in the Ironman 3 film for 5 seconds. It’s actually an insult which many europeans agree upon but don’t care since she’s not from Europe anyways. xD sorry that was a little blunt.

      And here in Monaco. That’s not what we heard about Pinault’s return of the bronze heads. We heard that he generously gave it back but as we monacans aren’t the french’s biggest fans, we tend to see Pinault as a hypocrite. From my understanding, he originally said that chinese must buy it back and improve your human rights. But then he now gave it back ironically coinciding with the French President’s visit with China. We are under the impression that he gave it back because he was pressured by the french government so they can make better business deals with the Chinese. We also think that maybe it’s because China is no longer weak and is gaining more influence. I’m not sure whether us monacan’s interpretation of this case is about right or not though……..

    • I think Pinault’s actions speak better than the previous owner’s attitudes (you can look them up). The Pinault family had only acquired the artifacts recently, too, so it’s not as if they sat on them, greedily, waiting for this moment. I commend them for the gesture, even if that’s all it is.

      • ‘I commend them for the gesture, even if that’s all it is’
        It’s more than a years salary of a top ten C-celeb lol

        • Yeah, but it’s not like he’ll be able sell it for anything, so it’s essentially worth nothing to him if he kept it.
          But I agree that the gesture should be applauded, since even if he did it for selfish reasons, more publicity like this might lead other owners of artifacts to also donate their collections.

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