Halfway in, I like China

tumblr_nifel6rZ5O1qbi6r6o7_1280Peter Jackson and Richard Armitage, press conference for the national premiere of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Beijing, December 19, 2015. I forget where I picked this up. Probably my favorite image so far.

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I don’t know that I was that incredibly excited about the end of this round of the Hobbit publicity, other than it was going to be another opportunity to see Mr. Armitage, which I am always up for. But it’s turning out really great. Not just because I’ve been a little surprised at the awareness and enthusiasm of the fans in Beijing, or happy that more information is making its way out in ways that I can grasp than I would have guessed, but also because I get to see a little segment of the Chinese fans. I’ve known about them for a long time (a Chinese Richard Armitage discussion board occasionally sends me traffic, and I can see page views in my WP stats), but now there are two accounts tweeting, and they’re explaining stuff, and telling us things — and we get to see just a little glimpse of the world outside the official pictures. I can think of the Chinese fans, excited like us, we like them, standing outside, hoping for a glimpse, sitting in the press room, taking as many pictures as they can, excited to share them. Thanks, guys, you have been at least as much fun as Mr. Armitage.

~ by Servetus on January 20, 2015.

30 Responses to “Halfway in, I like China”

  1. Well said. I am pleasantly surprised 🙂

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    • I knew they would make an effort b/c generous hospitality to guests is an important value in Chinese culture, but I’ve really been grateful for how much the fans on the ground are working to keep everyone in the world watching.

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  2. Armitaging is fun the world over….we are all rather similar because of the common denominator; I’m sure in other ways as well! It’s great how we can communicate in real time half a world away. I do remember black and white tv and watching the dot disappear when turning it off. Yet today, I got to see and have translated all the info from China…all on my phone! AMAZING. Thanks to all involved for sharing. ..I felt happy today because of it, and at first I thought I wouldn’t have cared!

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  3. I thank you personally for those kind words. I have been here for over a year I think, but not courageous enough to post (still improving my English skills and have nothing first hand to share about Mr A). Reading some really long and in-depth discussion here is a joy for me, and at times there were funny posts that made my day.

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  4. Thank you, Serv, for all your posts, and thanks to those who have shared with us–it is much appreciated. I am also old enough to remember black and white TV with rabbit ears and two channels (at least one of those was public television!) and how excited we were when we got a color console, an outside antenna, and doubled our channel reception to four! Now I can hear about and see things happening on the other side of the world. ❤

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  5. I also enjoyed the enthusiastic response, and from the easy, smiling, gracious footage and other images I’ve seen, it would appear RA is enjoying this leg of The Hobbit promotions as well.

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  6. Thank you. It’s a real pleasure to follow the news from China. Inspite of being half a world away from Beijing, I tune in ever so often to see how things are going, and the time difference it a major player here – and not in a negative way as it’s often perceived.
    I get info from your good blog, Serv, at night just before bed time, and I wake up to news from China. I love it ❤

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    • yeah, it’s really nice to be on a side of the news cycle that one appreciates. (The Australians were often annoyed, though.)

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      • Why? Aren’t they almost the same time zone as the Beijing-Chinese? Or did you mean with the premiere in the States because that I could understand.

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        • the last few years generally, when news has tended to break on US time.

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          • I see, then I understand the annoyance. I bet Europe has the same issue when the Olympics takes place in the States or in China, then we almost always get news of the medals before we get to see the action.

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  7. I freaking love how secure Armitage seems in pictures of Beijing >^_^<.

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    • I’ve wondered if there’s some aspect of surrender there — so much is going to be going on that he can’t really process and so he doesn’t have to. There’s a sort of protected quality to not being able to perceive everything — so he can just rely on his handlers and let the impressions sink in? I hope so. Plus no doubt everyone is being extra nice to them.

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      • I haven’t thought of it, yet now that you mention it, it looks highly possible. At the same time I’m curious how much he has already gotten used to the buzz of these experiences to be able to feel secure :).

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        • yes, he’s getting more used to it. But I saw less tension here than is typical for him in this setting these days. And a bit more excitement in the pitch of his voice, perhaps.

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  8. It’s so great to get informations “first hand” from the chinese fanbase. It feels like opening the window to another RA-Space. Nice view so far 🙂

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  9. I like when he laughs like that 🙂

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  10. Oh, I need to add: all my life I’ve heard on the news and radio: “Today, Xinhua, China’s official news agency, said….” and for the first time I actually found myself reading Xinhua. Fascinating.

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    • I went to the hotel they stayed last night before I left Beijing, that place is not unlike urban areas of any big cities in the world. That building which Richard took a selfie has about 50 floors and a guarded entrance, and it is surrounded by shops of Armani or Zegna or CK. But there’re still poorly built houses to the other end of the city.
      I wonder if RA saw these differences and what he would say, though apparently he didn’t post anything on this matter(and better not to..)

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      • The whole question of why a movie made in the US can be shown China is apparently very complex (you might know this better than I would) as China limits non-Chinese films to 34 per year. So I am very sure they were all at pains not to say anything that might put Warner Bros. chances of having its future films included in that small number at risk. Jackson in particular might have a lot to lose there, but Armitage would as well.

        I’m aware that not everything about China is rosy, but I also think it’s of benefit for people to be well informed before they make criticisms of their hosts and I can’t imagine that Armitage would ever want to get into it in public … at least not at this stage of his career.

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  11. And this stuff made Shanghaiist, which is a blog for foreigners in Shanghai, and my best friend from college’s son writes for them. He didn’t write the article, unfortunately …

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