China debut of "Django Unchained" suddenly cancelled for "technical reasons"

Thu Apr 11, 2013 5:31am EDT
 
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - The Chinese debut of Quentin Tarantino's Oscar-winning film "Django Unchained", a violent Western slave revenge tale, was suddenly cancelled on Thursday for "technical reasons," movie theatres said.

China is now the largest international market for Hollywood and the opening of the film had been widely anticipated because of reports it would only have minor cuts from government censors, despite Tarantino's reputation for violence.

Some microbloggers said the film had begun to roll when it was stopped and they were told to leave cinemas.

"We got the notice from our headquarters around 10:00 a.m. this morning but it was too late to cancel two viewings," said an official at one of several Shanghai theatres contacted.

"We were only told that it was due to some technology problems and were told to cancel it. They didn't tell us when the film would be shown again."

Domestic media quoted industry insiders as saying the cancellation was probably due to some nudity which may not have been edited out of the film.

The Chinese government censors all movies before they can be released. Scenes that contain nudity, politically sensitive issues, as well as extreme levels of violence, must be edited out before the film receives a go-ahead from the authorities.

Officials at Huaxia Film Distribution Co Ltd and the State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television (SARFT), which is responsible for movie censorship, could not be reached for comment.

"After watching it for about a minute, it stopped!" said microblogger Xue Yi Dao. "Staff then came in and said SARFT... had called to say it had to be delayed!! Can someone tell me what's happening!!"   Continued...

 
People walk past a poster of the film "Django Unchained" outside a cinema in Beijing, April 11, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Lee