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China's New Online Video Spoof Mocks TV Commercials
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The video artist who rose from obscurity by making fun of one of China's leading directors has produced a new spoof mocking TV commercials, attracting more than a hundred thousand viewers since last Thursday.

The three-and-half minute Internet video made by Hu Ge appears to be a typical, mundane television shopping program. The advertiser is a medicine called "Two Foot Kick", produced by "Apollo Biopharm" that boasts "99 percent effectiveness in boosting courage".

The video uses movie clips including Hollywood hits American Dream, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Terminator 2, Scary Movie 4 and Chinese movies Crazy Stone and KungFu Hustle. Stars such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Angelina Jolie appear to be promoting the new "super medicine".

In July, China banned misleading advertising that promoted products for breast enlargement, weight loss and height enhancing drugs.

Hu Ge's previous on-line short was a deadly and hilarious spoof of Chinese director Chen Kaige's big-budget movie The Promise. Hu turned it into a 20-minute TV crime drama titled A Murder Sparked by a Chinese Bun. It was the talk of the Internet for weeks but it also outraged the director who threatened to sue Hu.

Hu's new video was first posted on his blog last Thursday, which has already received more than 110,000 visits.

Many viewers say the video is a good satire of TV commercials which often grossly exaggerate the effects of the products.

"Egao", a Chinese slang term equal to "parody",  coined to describe the use of real film clips to create mocking video with a completely different story has been growing rapidly on the Internet. China's State Administration of Radio, Film and Television announced new rules in August that were meant to rein in the fad by requiring only authorized Web sites to show short films online.

Hu Ge is working on a 15-minute comedy costume film which is expected to be posted on-line by the end of next month, Beijing Star Daily reports.

(Xinhua News Agency October 25, 2006)

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