'Summer' problems swarm screening
Problems continue to loom for “Summer Palace,” the Chinese film skedded to play in competition Thursday in Cannes.Pic, an erotic love-hate story set against the backdrop of the Tiananmen Square unrest, has still not been approved by China’s censors — and may not be before it screens at Cannes. Helmer Lou Ye already risked film regulators’ ire by having the film submitted and selected for a foreign festival before being cleared by the Film Bureau (Variety, April 24). Actually going ahead with the screening without their full approval presumably makes things worse. Previous directors have been banned from working and have had their passports withdrawn for committing similar sins. Movie’s French co-producer Sylvain Bursztejn of Rosem Films says the pic has been screened for the censors but was rejected on technical grounds to do with the soundtrack. But he was unable to say whether the problems could be solved or whether the Bureau’s explanations hides deeper issues. With both helmer and a screening print in Cannes, festival preem still seems on course.