Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Bad Behaviour In Communist China

According to The Guardian, there's coverage in The Beijing News of an upcoming crackdown on internet films that lampoon hit movies.

Films given a wide release in China have to be officially sanctioned by The State Administration for Radio, Film and Television. As a result, there's very little dissent to be found in any of them, and, amongst other things, this most often leads to ridicule. Other times, though the ridicule is less overtly political it is still seen to chip away at the respectability of these approved films, stars and directors.

Murder Over a Steamed Bun was Hu Ge's skewering of Chen Kaige's The Promise. The 20-minute spoof made him instantly infamous in China, though unlike, say, the director of My Space: The Movie or the re-editor of that wonderful Shining trailer, an apparent insurrectionist like Hu Ge might just find big studio work impossible under his government's sanctions.

Chen Kaige has sued Hu Ge, calling him "unimaginably shameless". This created even more publicity, of course, when the film had already been viewed by millions.

I think this daft parody strikes a small, silly gong of success for the freedom of speech in China.

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