Thursday, October 08, 2009

Another drinking game

A companion piece to yesterday's liver-endangering frippery...

I am tempted to go and see Founding Of The Republic, the Chinese-made blockbuster film about the events of 1949 that opened just prior to the nation's 60th birthday celebrations last week. They've been playing trailers of it on the subway for the past month, and it actually looks not bad: well-staged spectacle, if rather ploddingly earnest in plot; and it involves pretty much a 'who's who' of Chinese cinema talent.

It's a thankless task for Tang Guoqiang, the actor playing Mao, who appears to have been chosen principally for his lookalike quality, and is surely in danger of being acted off the screen by all the big names in the supporting roles. In all the clips I've seen, he appears to be beaming catatonically - suggesting either a saintly composure or a show of self-effacing perplexity ("What? They're saying I did all this? Oh, no, no, no.").

The other striking feature is how solemn and dutiful and stiff-upper-lip stoical everybody looks. There is a lot of saluting going on in this film. A lot.

So, what I think we have to do is..... smuggle a bottle of baijiu (or a hipflask of good Scotch) into a cinema with us, and take a swig every time someone gives a salute. Now that's what I call a feel-good film.

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