"Cloud Atlas" cut by 38 minutes for China audience
FILE - In this Jan. 21, 2013 file photo, Lana Wachowski, left, and Andy Wachowski, center, co-writers and co-directors of "Cloud Atlas," look on as Chinese actress and cast member Zhou Xun, right, speaks during a press conference held ahead of the movie's China premiere in Beijing, China. Nearly 40 minutes has been chopped from China’s version of the soon-to-be-released Hollywood film “Cloud Atlas,” deleting both gay and straight love scenes to satisfy local censors despite a movie-going public that increasingly chafes at censorship. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)
BEIJING (AP) — Nearly 40 minutes have been chopped from the Hollywood film "Cloud Atlas" for Chinese audiences, deleting both gay and straight love scenes to satisfy local censors despite a movie-going public that increasingly chafes at censorship.
It premiered Tuesday in Beijing in a red-carpet ceremony with actor Hugo Weaving and China's own Zhou Xun, but won't start running in Chinese theaters until next Thursday. The filmmaker's Chinese partners have slashed that version from the U.S. runtime of 172 minutes to a pared-down 134 to expunge the "passionate" episodes.
"The 172-minute version can be downloaded online ... so I am sure some people will prefer that to going to the cinema," said movie fan Kong Kong, 27, who lives in Shanghai.
Chinese citizens have recently become more outspoken, especially on social media, with complaints about censorship of imported films as well as the home-grown movie industry and news media, much of it imposed over elements that might make China look bad. Awkward cuts by the censors to the most recent James Bond offering "Skyfall," which opened here Monday, prompted calls for a review of the film censorship system.
"Even these kinds of movies are getting censored, for what?" wrote Wei Xinhong, deputy editor in chief at Shanghai Literature and Art Publishing Bureau, on his Twitter-like Sina Weibo. "What kind of era do we live in today! Still want to control people's minds?"
He said he was left confused after watching China's version of the 007 movie, which deleted a bloody scene showing a French hitman killing a Chinese security guard. It also changed the subtitles of Bond's conversation with a young woman in the Chinese territory of Macau about her past — references to her as a teenage prostitute morphed into a mention of her membership in the mafia.
In this Jan. 16, 2013 photo, moviegoers and journalists watch the latest James Bond 007 movie "Skyfall" during the movie's premiere ceremony at a cinema in Beijing, China. China’s version of the 007 movie deleted a bloody scene showing a French hitman slaying a Chinese security guard and changed the subtitles of Bond’s conversation with a young woman to expunge any mention of prostitution. (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan)
The "Cloud Atlas" filmmakers say they are confident their movie will retain its "integrity" despite being 38 minutes lighter.