Gong Li More than two months after its release and the media storm about Gong Li’s near explosive role in Curse of the Golden Flower online and print media can’t let go. China Rising (NFTMK) did a great post, in December, on the possibility of industry fabricated hype designed only to recoup the $44.6 million US dollars that it took to stage this monumental undertaking. This week, The Record (TR) takes a different bent on the whole controversy and reports on an article out printed in a paper in nearby Shenzhen. It seems that Curse… has prompted a call for ratings surprisingly by cinematographers who believe that government censors, if following guidelines, will have less lee-way when panning or permitting a film to show in China or at festivals abroad. The law requires approval of a work prior to export or the film maker is likely looking at years of suspension from the craft. Several directors are currently exiled from the film community and would welcome a fairer system before remorsefully coming back into the good graces of the government. The movie is rated R for its violence, not its cleavage, in the United States and that means that children younger than 17 must be accompanied by an adult to see it. But, media hype or not, Gong Li’s barely reticent flesh is causing real debate over the appropriateness of certain stimuli for young Chinese children. I am a huge fan of Gong Li and have followed her since her first role in Zhang, Yimou’s world revered classic Raise the Red Lantern. And I want to see Curse badly enough that I will brave a Chinese theatre soon to do so: Chinese cinemas generally have the sound up so high that you need hearing protection to keep your ears from bleeding. I had a good laugh recently when I returned to a mall where the movie has been playing since November. The cutout of a tightly wrapped Li that was a lobby traffic stopper has been replaced by a tamer version of the film star that most native Chinese don’t think is so hot with or without enhancements.
I wish I knew where that offending cardboard ended up….

By Lonnie Hodge @ Onemanbandwidth

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