A Great Chinese Movie….Pass!
I thought about writing a script about China – thriller, action, intrigue. The last film that dealt with China would be “Red Corner” which a Wikipedia review said “”…more the movie’s subtext swallows its story, until all that is left is Gere’s superior virtue, intermixed with his superior virility — both of which are greatly appreciated by the evidently underserviced Chinese female population…” The film was banned in China. But it’s fertile ground for material though I imagine the conversation with a Studio Executive:
So, I found this article by Secretary of Defense Gates: “China Could Undermine U.S. Military Power in the Pacific.” China is expanding its navy in the Pacific to secure disputed territories in the South China Sea with lots of oil and gas. A Tom Clancy – Harrison Ford thriller. I followed the Chinese military since the nineties and it’s a central plot of my novel, “Stealing Thunder.” (Shameless Plug! 600 pages long; waiting for Amazon jerks to come through with the darn discount price…). Think “Clear and Present Danger”, “Hunt for Red October”…
Executive: ‘Liked “Sum of All Fears”
Yes, but the terrorists in the book become cliched neo-Nazis in the film, remember? Gates said that we should be concerned with China’s, “… cyber and anti-satellite warfare, anti-air and anti-ship weaponry.”
I studied “Unrestricted Warfare”, a book written by two Chinese colonels. Their strategy won’t bankrupt their “Free-Enterprise-as-long-as-The-Generals-Get-Their-Cut Economy” like the Socialist Soviet Union under Reagan’s brilliant strategy. They said, “One war [1991 Gulf War] changed the world. [look at] all the new words that began to appear after 17 January 1991. It is only necessary to cite the former Soviet Union, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, cloning, Microsoft, hackers, the Internet, the Southeast Asian financial crisis, the euro, as well as the world’s final and only superpower — the United States.” New technology, a big canvas, a huge VFX trailer!
Executive: ‘But, well, that implies that the socialist Chinese officials are, well, bad guys. Just because they use North Korea as a proxy against Japan and the U.S. for nuclear weapons development, claim territory in the South China Sea disputed by a dozen nations and shot down hundreds of democracy activists in Tiananmen Square doesn’t really mean they’re bad guys. Just a different…lifestyle.’
Okay, how ‘bout a Tiananmen Square angle? A few dozen activists morph into thousands hungering for freedom. They even build a “Goddess of Democracy.”
Executive: ‘Bit too much Statue of Liberty, rah, rah, if you know what I mean. Might be construed as supporting the troops. That can’t fly.’
Ooooookay. See, the demonstrators are crushed by Communist tanks and soldiers in a brutal crackdown that claims hundreds of lives. Thousands more go to jail. Drama. And–––
Executive: ‘The DVD division is struggling for market penetration with the Blu-Rays, so can we call the country…oh, I don’t know…Mushamar, or Sinesia? Gott have that market. How can democracy activists really be against a socialist government?’
Gotcha. Let’s not focus on an event that might anger Beijing when it bids for the next Olympics and bans athletes and former athletes who’ve spoken out on behalf of Tibet, democracy activists – in a generic way of course – and minorities. Consider a general human rights angle? Small story, village in China having an election….
Executive removes shoe and plucks at string on his sock: ‘Small is good, small is lower budget.’
The village people are suppressed by the local left-wing Party Boss in Free speech, Free press, property rights, Freedom of Religion, etc… When local elections are held in these outlying areas in a ‘democracy experiment,’ communist party cadre are invariably voted out. We have our Hero and…
Executive: ‘There’s that government angle! And you said, ‘Village people’. You’re thinking about a soundtrack deal? Instead of ‘YMCA’, maybe something like, ‘Why My Blu-Ray…’
No, not the Village People band but real village people. Workers, families, even people persecuted for their beliefs like the Falun Gong, and Christians.
Executive: ‘Nobody ever believes that Christians have been persecuted…’
Only outside of Hollywood. Well, you can get into trouble for just distributing Bible’s for God’s sake. We could even include some Tibetans who walk around in saffron robes and get stun guns shoved in their mouths during interrogation–
Executive: ‘No Tibetans. That will kill our DVD sales in Shanghai.’
Executive: ‘Love it! Corporations are always evil, always, always, always.’
But…don’t you work for a corporation?
Executive: ‘Except mine.’
I see. So this corporation censors Free Speech, working in collusion with an evil government. And this company “has been assisting the Chinese government to censor and monitor its citizens’ Internet usage. It has removed web sites and articles that the Chinese government bans from its results.” I even read an article that Jiang Mianheng, the son of the former President Jiang Zemin, wanted a demonstration of high-speed Internet searches. So the engineer put his father’s name into the Google search engine. Shock! Horror! Three of the top ten stories spelled out crimes committed by the senior Jiang during his socialist reign. And “Evil Jiang Zemin” came up as top hit! Jiang Mianheng ordered the website censored. Favorable responses only! Media manipulation! High stakes corporate shenanigans. Like Clive Owen and Julia Roberts in ‘Duplicity 2’, called ‘Duplicitious’ about Google.
Executive: ‘Google! And damage our ad campaigns!!! Not to mention all the links we’d probably lose!’
But Google has a motto, “Do No Evil,” so it’s corruption between an all powerful dominating corporation with a despotic government. No?! Okay, how about a reporter. Yahoo supplied the whereabouts of a Chinese journalist, Shi Tao, to the authorities. Tao worked for Contemporary Business News. He got ten years in jail for violating a state secrets act: emailing the Chinese propaganda department guidelines for writing about the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre on its 15th anniversary.
Executive: ‘Can he be from the Post? We could get great lead coverage.’
Okay, go with financial manipulation? The two Chinese colonels maintain that, “…that the financial attack on East Asia… represent(s) semi-warfare, quasi-warfare, and sub-warfare, that is, the embryonic form of another kind of warfare.” A greedy international capitalist predator crushes the Malaysian economy for personal gain! George Soros!
Executive: ‘And lose all my dinner invitations! We have eight graphic novel comic book movies in the pipeline. Where do you think we get our merchanise from? China!’
Okay, forget it. I’m going to write it on my own. Somebody will buy it. Somebody will make it.
If…only….I can….. Why did d the Inter…net get so slowwww? But….I hav to writ that sc…ipt… My made hard drive is…buzzing loudly…now smoking… Damn, it’s Made in China.
My movie won’t be.