Avatar is Chinese choice

12:52, March 09, 2010      

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Chinese film fans were mostly disappointed by the unexpected shutout of Avatar in the major categories at the 82nd Academy Awards. Most bet on the $2 billion juggernaut for the Best Picture award, and when my fellow guest at Sina.com's Oscar show openly rallied for The Hurt Locker, he instantly received text messages denouncing him.

It is understandable why Chinese filmgoers prefer Avatar. It is a runaway hit, and is still packing them in at all 3D venues. People can read all kinds of messages into it and many regard a trip to Pandora as their best movie experience.

The Hurt Locker, on the other hand, is harder to decipher. Most here tend to misinterpret its message. Even the normally liberal Beijing News reckoned it was Pentagon propaganda. It's a war movie, but it does not offer much fun or gratuitous violence. The impact of war on the protagonist and the morbid nature of his fascination with danger, simply eludes those not familiar with the culture, or not interested in anything except the explosions.

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