Culture\Film and TV

To bid, or not to bid: the Oscar race in China

By Zhang Xingjian | | Updated: 2017-10-13 13:39

To bid, or not to bid: the Oscar race in China

A scene from Wolf Warrior 2 [Photo/Mtime]

Chinese film phenomenon Wolf Warrior 2 was selected as the Chinese entry for the Best Foreign Language Film category at the 90th Academy Awards this month.

As a commercial blockbuster, Wolf Warrior 2 achieved huge success both at the box office and in public praise. More importantly, it redefined China’s entry for Oscar awards.

Some people are excited to see Wolf Warrior 2 flying the flag for China in an Oscar bid, while others think otherwise.

Wolf Warrior 2 received praise for its patriotic plot, action sequences and the cast's performances but was criticized for excessive attention to visual effects and a plot short of “themes”.

To bid, or not to bid: the Oscar race in China

Posters of Raise the Red Lantern (left) and Farewell My Concubine [Photo/Mtime]

Only four Chinese films have been officially nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film, despite submissions each year since 1979. The four are Ju Dou, Raise the Red Lantern and Hero, directed by Zhang Yimou, and Farewell My Concubine, by Chen Kaige.

Meanwhile, other films have found awards success, outside the Oscars. Red Sorghum won the coveted Golden Bear at the 1988 Berlin Film Festival; To Live won the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury, Best Actor and Grand Prix at the 47th Cannes Film Festival; The Story of Qiu Ju won the Golden Lion award at the Venice Film Festival in 1992.

Those films may have different directors, plots and performances, but they all boast a strong artistic atmosphere and memorable moments.

They are referred to as “literary films”.

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