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Reel China: Targets an elusive film fan — the Chinese American

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For years, Chinese films shown in U.S. theaters have fallen into two distinct camps, both driven by largely white patrons: martial-arts movies for young men, such as Jet Li’s “Hero,” or critically acclaimed art-house fare, such as Kaige Chen’s “Farewell My Concubine.”

Only rarely has a movie conquered both blocs, as did Ang Lee’s “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.”

“The Butcher, the Chef and the Swordsman,” a Mandarin-language action comedy that hit U.S. screens this weekend, is a bit of a different animal — it has sword fights but also a music video, hand-drawn animation, slapstick jokes, split screens, black-and-white photography, opera, a video game and even a point-of-view shot from the eyes of a decapitated warrior.

The movie’s distributor, China Lion, hopes the over-the-top mix will lure a new audience to cinemas: mainstream Chinese American film buffs.

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via Los Angeles Times

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