“Unmade In China”: Moviemaking Hell In The People’s Republic
On one hand, I want to call out this director for his whiny first-worldism and paranoia. But on the other hand, I can’t imagine the brand of hell that is making a movie in China: the ribbons of red tape, the soul-searing bureaucracy, the endless baijiu banquets and bribing with cigarettes. We’re never told what movie this director, Gil Kofman, was working on, or if he ever finished. But we do know that he made a film about the experience, ala Tropic Thunder (“The Making of Tropic Thunder” was the movie that won the Oscar in Tropic Thunder, as you’ll remember). The trailer is above.
Kofman had a Kickstarter for his project, which he cancelled four days ago after getting only one backer of $10 for his goal of $25,000. We’re told that Unmade in China already “has a distributor with a theatrical release,” so the film is in postproduction. Ai Weiwei apparently called it “a masterpiece!” and the China Herald Tribune gave it seven stars, whatever the hell that means. Youku video for those in China after the jump.
In 2010 American director Gil Kofman was brought to the People’s Republic China to direct the country’s first ever thriller. Unbeknownst to him, Kofman was hired, bootlegged if you will, to serve as a Manchurian director controlled by the cultural, political and financial interests in Communist China – scripts are re-written from page one, cast members disappear and are recast overnight without warning, and military & Party officials crash the production. Paranoia sets in as Kofman is plied with booze by government officials at a karaoke whorehouse – is he being set up to fail? Is his hotel room bugged? Is there a spy on the crew? What eventually transpires, and the comeuppance exacted, ends up larger than the world of film – as it questions how far an artist will go to assert his will and freedom against a communist regime.
(H/T China Stories)