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Famous Hollywood movie director Don Tyler, Donald Sutherland, is in China to direct what looks like a remake of The Last Emperor, called The Last Dynasty. He`s shooting on location in the Forbidden City, but things aren`t going well; he`s behind schedule, and his heart really isn`t in it, especially when he learns that the boss of the studio, Paul Mazursky, has sold the picture to a Japanese company. Tyler`s only allies are Lucy, Rosamund Kwan, his interpreter, and Yo Yo, Ge You, a cynical photographer involved in shooting a `making of...` reportage of Tyler`s film. Tyler and Yo Yo, though they can`t really communicate, are brothers under the skin, they`re both cynics and rebels. Big Shot`s Funeral is the work of director Feng Xiaogang, an experienced comedy director in China, and its best scenes are those in which Donald Sutherland and Ge You - a popular Chinese comedian - play off one another. It`s a lovely example of characters divided by language and different approaches to culture but who nevertheless are able to bond on a human level. Feng includes lots of in-jokes about famous names on the Chinese cultural scene - Gong Li, Zhang Yimou and Chen Kaige among them; but this is best enjoyed on the level of a humanistic character-driven comedy, and Sutherland has great fun apparently impersonating John Huston in his declining years.

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