Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Great Wall

Peter Wang, 1986 (8.7*)
The first American movie filmed in mainland China is a comedy of culture clashes. A Chinese-American computer worker in California , director Peter Wang, quits his job in a dispute, then takes his family to visit distant relatives in Beijing, China.

Of course, the Americans are now thoroughly westernized Chinese-Americans, so the family they visit in China is pretty much Old World by comparison. The bewilderment and confusion of host and guest alike stem from the language barrier for one, and again when confronted by peculiar foreign customs.

The best laughs come from the point of view of the People's republic, such as students reciting Lincoln's Gettysburg Address in unique English, or an elderly man coping with an electric blanket presented as a gift (and of course with a different current requirement), people debating fallacies about Americans as if factual, just like U.S. disinformation about other nations. This is all good-natured fun, with something to learn on both sides, and the benefit of it all going to the audience.

It’s a crime that less than 1000 people have rated this film at IMDB, it’s an excellent comedy, an excellent American film, and an excellent foreign language film, all three together in one.


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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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