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December 20, 2004

At the movies

Yesterday was another "first" for us. We went to the Nantong Cinema to watch the new Andy Lau blockbuster "Tianxia Wu Zei" ("World Without Thieves"). Going to the cinema is one of Terry's and my favorite pastimes in the U.S., and we've missed it in China. One of the problems is that cinema attendance is far less popular here. Pirated DVDs can be bought for just under $1, and the DVD rental rate is about $.20, but cinema seats range from $2 to $7.50, depending on time of day and some other variables that we haven't identified. (We took in a late-afternoon show for $2.50.) So far, we have discovered only two movie theaters in this city of about a million people. The other problem is that Terry doesn't want to sit through a movie with Chinese soundtrack and no subtitles (if the plot is interesting, I like the listening practice, even though I might catch only 20%). "World Without Thieves" has English subtitles, and Terry says she's glad I talked her into going. It was one of the better movies we've seen, and will probably make it to the U.S. It's production and distribution context is interesting, too, in that it is a joint Hong Kong - Taiwan film that is getting a lot of promotion on the Chinese Mainland. (Nothing politically sensistive, just a good old-fashioned story about adventure, crime, romance, betrayal, and faith in humanity.) -- Norty

Posted by now at December 20, 2004 11:01 AM