Big Shot's Funeral
2003
Famous director Don Tyler (Donald Sutherland) travels to China to film a historical epic. But he suffers a stroke, and as he slips into a coma, he mumbles his "last request" to the cameraman: He wants a full-blown, Chinese-style comedy funeral in the Forbidden City. When his crew discovers Tyler doesn't have the money to pay for this elaborate funeral, they concoct a scheme to use "product endorsements" by major companies to fund the event!

Scott Hardie: “It was ok.”

My understanding is that this is more of a flat-out comedy for Chinese audiences, which must have a different sense of tone and timing. We're on another whole wavelength, but on the plus side, we can appreciate it as a satire of cinematic hubris and capitalistic greed. You Ge reveals real depth to his comic lead, and Donald Sutherland has a moment of genuine sweetness at a crucial point. It's a failure due to cultural barriers (and being way too slow), but it's intriguing nonetheless.

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