//
you're reading...
Media & Entertainment

China censors Chinese villains from Men in Black 3


Censors in Beijing cut the latest Hollywood blockbuster, Men in Black 3, by 13 minutes to remove all Chinese baddies from the film.

The makers of Men in Black 3 might not have realised that setting parts of the film in New York’s Chinatown would cause offence on the other side of the world.

But the Chinese government apparently saw plenty of political resonance in one scene where Will Smith, playing a US secret agent, erases the memories of a group of Chinese bystanders.

“This could have been a hint on the use of internet censorship to maintain social stability,” commented China’s Southern Daily newspaper.

Meanwhile two other scenes, where unsavoury aliens disguise themselves as Chinese restaurant workers, were also judged to have cast China in a bad light.

Such micromanagement by the government is not new. Scenes showing a Chinese pirate in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End were cut on the mainland.

“I remember watching Mission Impossible here and they garbled some of the dialogue,” said Dan Mintz, the head of DMG, a Beijing production company that is shooting the next Iron Man movie in China later this year.

Iron Man 3 is the largest movie to be co-produced in China to date, as Hollywood wakes up to the potential of the Chinese market.

However, given the Communist party’s determination to make sure China is always shown in a good light, film makers are facing serious hurdles in getting movies past the censors.

“Unless there is a flattering image of Chinese people, you are going to run into a challenge from the State Administration of Film, Television and Radio (SARFT),” said Robert Cain, a partner in Pacific Bridge Pictures, which specialises in Chinese productions.

“The list of taboos is so long it is very often too difficult to make anything entertaining,” he added. “I had a friend submit a script and the censors asked him to change the name of one of the characters. He could not understand why so he asked them and they said it was the pet name that Deng Xiaoping (China’s former paramount leader) used for his granddaughter.”

However, Mr Cain said there is room for negotiation with the censors, particularly if a film is more nuanced and if there is a balance between good and bad Chinese characters.

Mr Mintz said the situation has improved in the past two years: previously Chinese censors would simply block films they did not like from entering the market.

Salt, a thriller which opened in a prison in North Korea, China’s close ally, was denied entry. MGM is still said to be suffering from a decision to remake Red Dawn, an anti-Communist action film, even though Chinese villains were substituted in the film for North Koreans.

“We are still in transition from propaganda to entertainment,” said Mr Mintz, while adding that Chinese censors were sympathetic if characters were more nuanced, and that their demands were part of a chorus of other hurdles facing film makers.

“When you get to the level of making a thought-provoking film, you would be surprised at how much the State Administration of Film, Television and Radio (SARFT) is not a problem. You have lots of other problems: actors, executives, and so on,” he said.

Malcolm Moore
The Telegraph
 

About Craig Hill

General Manager at Craig Hill Training Services * Get an Australian diploma by studying in your own country * Get an Australian diploma using your overseas study and work experience * Diplomas can be used for work or study in Australia and other countries. * For more information go to www.craighill.net

Discussion

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pingback: June 9 2012 China Daily Mail Headlines « Craig Hill - June 10, 2012

  2. Pingback: The Good Things About China? « Life Behind The Wall - June 10, 2012

  3. Pingback: The Politics of Absolutely Everything « Kingdom of Sharks - August 16, 2012

  4. Pingback: Hollywood should bet on India over China « China Daily Mail - September 19, 2012

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

China News Stories

China News Stories is not affiliated in any way with any publication in China or anywhere else.

Enter your email address to receive an email each time an article is published, or join our RSS feed. 100% FREE.

Follow us on Twitter

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

Want to write for China News Stories?

Read “Contributor Guidelines” above to join our team of 76 contributors. Write news or opinion about issues in China, or post photos and video. Promote your own site.

Recent Posts

China News Stories Have Been Featured In:

%d bloggers like this: