The hand-wringing over the Chinese release of Ang Lee’s “Lust, Caution” continues as the release date for the pic has been pushed back to Nov. 1, China Film said Wednesday. But it may be delayed further as the movie has yet to pass a censorship review.
“We hope it will show on time,” said China Film Group spokesman Weng Li, who conceded that delays were possible as censors have yet to screen the wartime drama.
Pic contains some fairly graphic sex scenes that are expected to run afoul of Chinese censors.
Lee has made cuts to the film — he said in an interview on CNN that he’s cut seven or eight minutes, fewer than the 11 he trimmed from the Malaysian version — but it remains to be seen whether these edits will appease China’s famously prudish censors.
Piracy is also a concern: The longer the pic goes without a release in China, the more opportunity pirates have to get a good version out there. Illegal downloads are already making the rounds in China.
The Golden Lion-winning film has a political theme, but probably the right kind of politics for the Chinese Communist Party because it’s about an undercover activist who seduces the Japanese-allied intelligence chief in WWII-era Shanghai to pave the way for his assassination.
Despite the delays on “Lust, Caution,” Lee’s stock is rising in the People’s Republic of China — he is involved in coordination of the Beijing Summer Olympics next year.