And The ‘Correct’ Point Of View
A very interesting story about China and Hollywood appeared in the Wall Street Journal of today (4/19/17). It confirms the continuing marginalization of the US and the threat to the survival of its Constitution.
It seems that Part 8 of Fast and Furious opened in China to 169 million compared to about 70 million in the US. (Inflated to 99 million in the reporting by including Canadian receipts, so China can now dwarf North America. (US, Canada, Mexico). Thus, implications go far beyond mere Box Office considerations. China has now surpassed the US in screens adding 25 a day, that is, 25 a day! Chinese admissions are half the US so the Fast and Furious receipts could be doubled to 338 million. China soon will have a bigger annual gross than North America with plenty of room to grow.
Anent political considerations the WSJ story makes two very revealing admissions:
Tensions between China and the White House have accelerated since the presidential election. Mr. Xi is seeking to strike a contrast with President Donald Trump as a champion of globalism, and he appears eager to advance China’s narrative- both by pressuring Hollywood studios to portray the nation favorably and in the long term, by adopting Western filmmaking techniques for China’s own industry.
So, what kind of favorable portrayal do the Chinese insist upon, which is actually a form of censorship, because they won’t show US movies that might be critical. For instance in a movie portraying the Trump, Xi, Kim Jong Un situation it would be necessary to show China as the moral and ‘correct’ champion with the US and Korea as squabbling brats. Hollywood will have to accept an inferior position for the US.
Here Mr. Xi should horrify US Liberals and have them condemn him and China as Neo-Nazis. Indeed, as Mr. Xi states:
We must make patriotism into the main melody of literature and art creation, guide the people to establish and hold correct views of history, views of the nation, views of the country, and views of culture, and strengthen their fortitude and resolve to be Chinese,” said Mr. Xi at the Beijing Forum on Literature and Art in October 2014.
So, there you have it, conditions no Liberal will tolerate in the US but are acceptable to them when imposed by China. In pleasing the Chinese to retain access to the Chinese market Hollywood does violence to everything the US professes to believe as guaranteed by our Constitution. In point of fact, as far as movies go Hollywood is now the tail and China is the dog. The Hollywood tail is not going to be able to wag the Chinese dog.
In fact Hollywood’s relationship to the market now becomes like that of France, Germany or Japan to the US market. i.e. foreign films. China within perhaps as little as a year or two may produce more movies than the entire West let alone Hollywood.
The mass market in the US has then disappeared. With the mass market gone the way is open for other cities than Hollywood to produce movies designed specifically for the US domestic market or US-European markets. In any event Chinese control of ‘correct history, culture and mores’ must not be allowed to control US filmmaking.
As Mr. Xi’s comment indicates his notion of globalism is simply Chinese domination of the globe. Foolish Americans if they allow that to happen.