Boy, those Chinese film pirates are resourceful. Hollywood has been bitching for years about movie piracy there, to little avail. Now the most expensive film ever made in China, The Promise, has been hijacked by pirates, who are showing the film on a television station in 16 parts and charging viewers two yuan per show to sneak a peek.
The Promise, directed by Chinese helmer Chen Kaige, who first rose to fame 12 years ago with Farewell My Concubine (one of my fave foreign films ever), cost $35 million to make --not huge by Hollywood's extravagent standards, but very spendy for a Chinese flick. The film is China's official entry for Best Foreign Language film in the Academy Awards, but has not been very acclaimed by Chinese film critics. Why do I have this great mental image of MPAA hard-ass Dan Glickman (pictured) chuckling and rubbing his hands together with glee over this story? Given the huge issue around American films being pirated in China, I suspect he's not too sympathetic.