More Lust in Hong Kong

I've heard anecdotal evidence about 2 day barnstorming tours from Shanghai to Hong Kong where people would spend all day shopping, go to a midnight screening of "Lust Caution" and then fly back to Shanghai the next day. Well, it seems the International Herald Tribune has taken a deeper look into this situation. Unfortunately, the article only quotes a businessman from Guangxi who made the trip and also one from Shanghai who was conveniently in Hong Kong for a "business" trip.

A number of friends in Shenzhen made the trip to Hong Kong to watch the unedited version of the movie, but I found it shocking that people from further afield would actually travel by air to go to Hong Kong for the main purpose of seeing a movie. The unedited version of the DVD is bound to hit the streets (as well as the web) soon (if it isn't out already) and to me, if not for the controversy about the cut scenes, this movie would be receiving far less public attention.

I like this quote from the article the most:
People within the Chinese movie industry said that the fact that a censored
"Lust, Caution" was available at all in mainland China demonstrated how far the
parameters of the acceptable have broadened since the beginning of China's era
of change more than two decades ago.

Okay, see, I can go both ways with this. On the one hand, it is true, there are a lot of elements to a movie like Lust Caution that would have never made it past censors. The censors are now more open than ever before and a lot gets in. There are some that would argue (well, not that Beijing student who is suing due to the edits) that an edited version of the movie is better than nothing. At the same time, the reality is that the movies ARE edited and while there are some subjects that everyone knows are untouchable, much of the time what gets cut and what doesn't is based on some minor and seemingly irrational decision. Look at the cuts that were made to Pirates of the Caribbean if you're wondering how random the censors can be at times. There are no clear guidelines that exist forcing creative types to throw themselves at the mercy of a censor board that seems more bent on looking for a way to not allow a movie than to accept one.

I have very little interest in this movie and have yet to see it, I'm waiting for the DVD and will provide a review at that time.

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