BEIJING — The saga over whether “Lost in Beijing” will be given approval to screen at the Berlinale continued Monday, as the Chinese pic’s producer Fang Li, said he had been given conditional approval from censors and the Film Bureau, but was not sure which version to show.
“We received approval for a heavily chopped version. I now need to decide what version to show. They want me to guarantee I will show the versions they approved,” said Fang, who added he would decide what action to take after he gets prints back from Thailand this week. He has another few days in which to make a decision on which print to submit for final approval.
“Lost,” which is helmed by Li Yu, one of the country’s few emerging female helmers, is about a relationship between a Beijing massage parlor boss, played by Hong Kong thesp Tony Leung, and his employee, played by mainland starlet Fan Bingbing.
Censors initially said it could not go to the Berlinale because a committee was unhappy with the moral tone of the film.
After a special screening of the pic Monday for the censors — the fifth such screening — the committee requested 15 minutes be cut from the film, a total of 53 cuts from the picture. Included in the cuts was a scene with a Mercedes driving down an alley with dirty water — censors complained it gave the wrong impression of the capital. Also cut were scenes involving Tiananmen Square and the Chinese national flag.
The Berlinale says pic remains in the festival’s main Competition lineup despite the Film Bureau banning it from the fest.