At the box office
A new film divides public opinion
A FILM about the hedonism of China's urban youth has laid bare the generation gap in Chinese society. "Tiny Times", which has taken 77m dollars in its first three weeks, follows the fortunes of four female friends at university in Shanghai,one of whom lands a job at a luxury fashion magazine. Equal parts "The Devil Wears Prada" and "Sex and the City" (minus the sex) it has resonated with the"me" generation aspiring to the lives of its protagonists, who totter around campus in expensive stilettos and buy each other fancy designer gifts.
People who came of age in the turbulent but self-sacrificial Maoist era say the film embodies the moral bankruptcy of the moment. One famous older film critic scolded the film's "sick" parade of beauty and wealth, only to be attacked himself in microblogs. "We have enthusiasm and dreams," came one retort. "We can fight for what we want."
People's Daily, the mouthpiece of the Communist Party, hinted that the release of such films should be controlled more tightly, prompting even some of the film's detractors to defend it. Undaunted, its director, 30-year-old Guo Jingming, whose book of the same name sold 24m copies, announced that the sequel, "Tiny Times 2", would be released in August, four months early.
Champagne socialist is a pejorative political termoriginating in the United Kingdom. The phrase is used to describe self-identified socialists whosecomfortable upper middle class lifestyles are perceived to be incompatible with their professed politicalconvictions. The term is used by opposing politicians to portray and ridiculetheir opponents as hypocritical.