Can China Expand its Beachhead in Hollywood?
With The Great Wall, a classic army vs. monsters tale, director
Zhang Yimou has brought America the most expensive Chinese film ever
created. The movie may be backed by a Hollywood studio and it may star
no less an American icon than Matt Damon, and yet it proffers China as
the source of military might and moral right. Hollywood and China’s
commissars have always made for strange bedfellows, but have they
finally figured out how to beget viable offspring? Will other major
stars follow Damon’s example and act in films that promote Beijing’s
message? Will American audiences watch them? Will Chinese? Can
propaganda ever make for a real blockbuster? Or will the powers on both
sides someday relent and let a director like Zhang make the kind of
nuanced human dramas that made his name in the first place?
A: God I hope not, every science fiction movie made these days has to have some cheesey Chinabait scene where the PRC [government] comes to the rescue (thinking: Arrival, Loopers, and The Martian) even if it makes absolutely no sense.