Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Washington (ANI): About 30 minutes of sex and violence scenes will be cut from director Ang Lee's thriller 'Lust, Caution" to make it suitable for audiences on the Chinese mainland, reports the State media. The film is set in the Thirtees, and it portrays a sexually explicit relationship between a young female spy, played by Tang Wei, and a powerful political figure (actor Tony Leung) set against the backdrop of turbulent Japanese-occupied Shanghai during WWII.
Lee says that the shorter version of the flick is reasonable. However, he feels that even the real version of the film would not have caused Chinese audiences to feel "so uneasy" and "shocked". Earlier, his film 'Brokeback Mountain" had been banned in China, owing to its overt homosexual themes. China does not have a ratings system, which may help make films appropriate for all potential audiences there.
A representative for Hong Kong-based co-producer Edko Films said that Lee had shortened the film himself from its original 156-minute length, in order to protect its integrity. China"s Film Bureau has approved the edited version of the movie, a bureau spokesperson has said. Lee said he "took pains to cut it" because he "attached much importance to the Chinese market," the Hollywood Reporter quoted a Xinhua report as stating.
"It is a pity that China has no ratings system. It is unsatisfying when a film is censored, like getting an apple that already has a bite taken out of it," said Jimmy Wu, chairman of Beijing-based production company China Vision Group.
He said that a rating system would provide for the protection of young people from adult movies as well as an allowance for adults to view movies with a more mature theme. He further said that the delayed theatrical release date and censorship could heighten piracy and reduce box-office returns.