China logs on to ‘Lust’

Ang Lee film drawing 100,000 comments a day

Ang Lee‘s erotic spy thriller “Lust, Caution” may have lost its more daring sex scenes for Chinese exhibition, but it’s still raising a blush among mainland auds and stirring passion in online discussions.

Some 1.5 million comments regarding the pic were posted on the Sina website Nov. 6, making it the most commented-on film in that blog’s history.

Comments have been growing by 100,000 a day since the pic opened in China.

A large part of the debate is about the film’s sexy content — or the lack thereof — since Lee cut seven steamy minutes from the version shown on China’s screens. The two excised scenes — one of brutal sex and one depicting an acrobatic coupling — are generating plenty of traffic on websites in China.

The comments posted run the gamut of viewpoints: “Chinese people are too narrow-minded. This is art. The press makes it out as if it is unbearably obscene. ‘Lust, Caution’ is a good film,” ran one posting.

Another broad-minded netizen wrote: “I don’t understand why in China sex scenes have to be cut out while in the West people just show it.”

But those opposing the film were also vigorous in their posts.

“When a famous director makes this kind of movie, it’s called art. If it’s done by a nobody, then it’s called porn,” said one blogger.

Another said it was a sign that directors and actors were low-class: “One wants to make money, the other wants fame. It’s a pity they had to ruin such a nice script.”

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