This is such a great story, that I had to post about it. A man name Dong Yanbin, a Ph.D student at the China University of Political Science and Law in Beijing, has filed a lawsuit against the nation’s film censor, the State Administration of Radio Film and Television (SARFT), for infringing upon his “consumer rights”. Apparently Dong was a little bit miffed that the film was shown in China with extensive cuts (most notably the much ballyhooed graphic sex scenes) by director Ang Lee himself. Although the lack of skin didn’t seem to have any impact on the film’s box office, with “Lust, Caution” having raked in $12 million in two weeks of release, setting it up to be one of the biggest hits of the year in China.
“I felt greatly disappointed after seeing the movie,” the paper quoted Dong as saying.
“Compared to Eileen Chang’s original, the incomplete structure of ‘Lust, Caution’ and fragmented portrayal of the female lead’s psyche makes it hard for the audience to appreciate the movie’s art,” Dong said.
Dong was seeking apologies and 500 yuan ($67) in “psychological damages” from both SARFT and UME, the cinema chain showing the movie, the paper said.
You gotta admire Dong. Not only is he taking on an immovable object in the Chinese Government, but he’s willingly going public with his case, which will no doubt result in some snickers directed in his direction. “Right, Dong, you’re objecting on the grounds of art, and not because you didn’t see any skin, right? What-EVA.” And so on and so forth.
By the way, remember that article from a while back, where the producers and writer of “Lust, Caution” was going on and on about how the movie was “made for adults”, and that they wouldn’t cut a single thing, and was willing to take the NC-17 rating that the film was being slapped with in the States as a result?
Or, as writer James Schamus puts it:
“As with so many of his previous films, Oscar-winning director Ang Lee has crafted a masterpiece about and for grown-ups.”
So apparently there are no “grown-ups” in China, because Ang Lee sure didn’t have any trouble editing out all the sex for them.