by DONG FANGHONG
BEIJING (China Daily Show) –Three new plots have been discovered in the national film archives, China’s Ministry of Culture announced yesterday.
The discovery was described as an “unprecedented leap forward for the Chinese entertainment industry” and brings the total number of acceptable storylines up to seven.
While anecdotes, legends and documented events from China’s lengthy historical annals are plentiful, the Party has struggled to find contemporary plotlines deemed to be of ‘Red Star Criteria’ for its national playlist.
“Many so-called ‘modern plots’ contain the kind of themes contemporary Chinese audiences just aren’t interested in,” snorted film critic Hu Jintao (relation) of the Central Party School’s Education Through Cinema Department.
“Lesbian gangsters, bent cops and debauched politicians” are typical examples of boring Western obsessions, he said.
“Simply put, the Chinese have an insatiable appetite for three-hour epics about the Sino-Japanese war,” shrugged Hu.
The addition of a trio of new plots to the official canon is sure to propel China into the cinematic superleague, experts hope.
“Today is momentous,” remarked Ministry spokesperson Wu Laigang. “We have almost doubled our national artists’ creative capacity by graciously donating them these new stories.”
The three plotlines include the full range of genres and styles, Wu added, predicting that the first – in which two Shanxi schoolchildren use their father’s moonshine to burn down a Japanese official’s family home– will have Disney “running for the hills.”
The second is likely to replace Romeo and Juliet as the world’s favorite love story within six years, Wu says.
The plot is a “sizzlingly harmonious” love story, set during the Nationalist White Terror of the 1930s, in which the protagonists never meet.
“We’re calling it White Heat,” said Wu. “It’s never been done before.”
Industry insiders say the third new plot may be the most original.
A cross between James Bond, a Rolex advert and the Quotations from Chairman Mao, the story relates an uncorroborated incident from the early life of Mao Zedong, in which the shirtless junior librarian garrottes the Kuomintang officer responsible for his second wife’s execution, using piano wire concealed in his Chinese wristwatch.
The plots will significantly bolster China’s four extant storylines, currently consisting of statutory rape in wartime; a rich girl marrying her boss; a platoon fighting in a forest; and a teenage boy dying a lonely virgin, as a result of a non-specific wasting illness.
While some have welcomed the additions, others say China will not be a true cultural powerhouse until it has at least 10 storylines.
Minister Wu was quick to reassure talent agencies, however, that there would be no change to the standard ‘three male, two female’ character stereotypes.
“Some things will never change,” Wu smiled. “Men can still pick from Saint, Traitor or ‘Fat ’n’ Funny,’ while women can be either Victim or Bitch.”
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