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NYT: A Leap Forward, or a Great Sellout?

Indiewire By Indiewire | Indiewire July 2, 2007 at 1:31AM

Homegrown blockbusters were supposed to be China's answer to Hollywood. And, to some extent, the extravagant budgets and eye-popping special effects of "Curse of the Golden Flower," "The Promise" and "The Banquet" did their job. For the past two years Chinese films have shattered box-office records here, while outperforming Hollywood imports. Yet far from inspiring national pride, these films, from the well-known directors Zhang Yimou, Chen Kaige and Feng Xiaogang, have sparked a heated, sometimes vituperative domestic debate about the future of Chinese cinema and whether the country's leading filmmakers are true artists or merely politically savvy hacks. David Barboza reports.
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Homegrown blockbusters were supposed to be China's answer to Hollywood. And, to some extent, the extravagant budgets and eye-popping special effects of "Curse of the Golden Flower," "The Promise" and "The Banquet" did their job. For the past two years Chinese films have shattered box-office records here, while outperforming Hollywood imports. Yet far from inspiring national pride, these films, from the well-known directors Zhang Yimou, Chen Kaige and Feng Xiaogang, have sparked a heated, sometimes vituperative domestic debate about the future of Chinese cinema and whether the country's leading filmmakers are true artists or merely politically savvy hacks. David Barboza reports.