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Movie makers seek to please Chinese (3)

By Li Xiaokun and Liu Wei (China Daily)

08:56, August 30, 2012

A long way to go

But experts say there is still some way to go before Hollywood and Western audiences are able to fully - and accurately - integrate Chinese aspects and depictions of the country and its people into their offerings.

"There is a growing awareness that things might be more complicated. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that Americans are exposed to other cultures more and more," said Jurkiewicz, from Central Michigan University.

"What I'd like to see happen is more Chinese films coming to this country, that portray contemporary Chinese life and culture. Those films are being made and shown in Asia, but very few of those films make it into the American market," he said.

Beijing-based film critic Bi Chenggong noted the golden period for Chinese films and performers in Hollywood was from 2000 to 2007.

"It was definitely related to the performance of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," Bi said.

An American-Chinese co-production, the film was directed by Ang Lee and featured an international cast of Chinese actors, including Chow Yun-Fat, Michelle Yeoh and Zhang Ziyi.

It grossed $128 million in the US, becoming the highest-grossing foreign-language film in American history. The film won more than 40 major international awards, including the Oscar for best foreign-language film.

"At that time, Chinese culture was popular in Hollywood. China had just become a new economic engine, while the 'China Threat Theory' was not talked about that much. We had just entered the World Trade Organization and were scheduled to host the Beijing Olympics ... All these left an open-minded image of China on the world," Bi said.

But now China is no longer a fresh subject, and Bi said Chinese stars have to realize the fact that movies featuring Asian stars as the core roles usually account for only 3 percent of Hollywood products.

"Besides, the Hollywood only picks up those with excellent performing skills who can speak good English. And many Chinese stars lack the motivation to explore Hollywood, given the prosperous market at home," Bi said.

"I expect to see more Chinese players in Hollywood, the most developed movie-industry system, to show our faces and have our voice heard there."

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