lesco wrote:The one thing that is NEVER mentioned among all the "Oh-my-god-those-repressive-Chinese-censors" hoo-hah is this:
Cinemas in China are regarded as family venues. This means no age-restricted material, nudity, violence that may be likely to upset, etc. It's G-rated just like a McDonalds or your local park - everyone can go there. If there is a popular film that will draw big audiences, but is not G-rated, then the Chinese censors will remove what is necessary to make it available for General Viewing.
I've never seen any indication here that cinemas are regarded as "family venues" any more than cinemas in the U.S. (If anything I see fewer
kids in Chinese cinemas than I do in the U.S.) It's not like kids can't go to the cinema in the U.S., or in the UK or Hong Kong or anywhere else. It's just all those places (like most of the planet) have rating systems that can keep kids out of specific movies
if they're judged too violent/sexual/etc. That doesn't mean the cinema is going to keep kids out of The Muppets
is playing at the same time on screen #7; they're just going to keep the kids out of Shame
because it has an NC-17/18/III. The Film Bureau refuses to implement such a system despite urgings from filmmakers, exhibitors (one chain devised their own advisory system in the absence of an official one), and a clearly not-insubstantial proportion of the audience.
This is also despite the fact that the Film Bureau does not actually require movies to be suitable for all audiences--which would require all films to be roughly on the level of Disney cartoons--and routinely passes films that are unambiguously not suitable for younger viewers. If SARFT honestly thinks that Dangerous Liaisons
or even the censored versions of Drug War
are suitable for family viewing, then they are, to put it politely, huffing paint. Even Stephen Chow's Journey to the West
caused a flap because the marketing painted it as a goofy romp with Sanzang and the Monkey King, leading a lot of parents to inadvertently expose their young'uns to stuff like slow-roasted corpses served as food. (In Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore, the movie carried the local equivalents of a PG-13 rating, which I think is appropriate.)