I just watched Lust, Caution on DVD last night. It's a wonderful movie as you would expect from Ang Lee. I was a bit put off by the inclusion of so much explicit sex in the film as I don't think it added to the plot. Ok. I got it. As the movie progressed the female lead (Tang Wei portraying Wong Chia Chi in a character arc that's more like a full circle---an amazing performance). But I really don't need to see so much genitalia or other body parts to understand a relationship based on lust which develops into something more. This plot was possibly the only one which would require that much graphic sex but as beautifully filmed as it was it was my cup runneth over.
I like to see what other people think about a movie after I've seen it, so first I searched AnD and read about the NC17 ratings in the US and the censorship of parts of the movie in China, and then I went to Metacritic to read some reviews.
This is what I discovered is happening TODAY. China is putting the screws to this fine actress. Why? Allegedly for protraying a traitor to her country. If you see this movie you will see their point but it's not as simple as that. They're making an example of her, NOT of Ang Lee, NOT of Tony Leung, but this young actress at the beginning of a wonderful career. Her performance was amazing and BRAVE and beautiful. SHE didn't write the damned part.
And now SHE'S GOING TO SUFFER A BAN.
From the Associated Press but it's reported everywhere, except I guess in China. I hope that AnD resists this as an Artists' website. She is being scapgoated here. It pisses me off.
[quote]Chinese regulators have ordered TV stations in Beijing and Shanghai
to stop reporting on actress Tang Wei and to pull any advertisements
featuring the star of the Ang Lee spy thriller "Lust, Caution,"
according to Chinese media reports.
The reason for the ban, which
has not been officially announced, was not immediately clear. However,
"Lust, Caution" has drawn attention because it portrays explicit sex
and unpatriotic behavīor.Lee on Monday criticized the ban on
Tang, who became a huge star with her role in the award-winning film.
In a statement e-mailed to The Associated Press on Monday, Lee praised
Tang's performance in "Lust, Caution" and said he's disappointed by the
reported ban."I am very disappointed that Tang Wei is being hurt
by this decision. She gave one of the greatest performances ever in a
movie that was properly produced and distributed. We will do everything
we can to support her in this difficult time," he said.Calls to a spokesman for the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television on Monday went unanswered.Hong Kong's Edko Films, which represents Tang, did not immediately return a reporter's call seeking comment.In
the movie, Tang plays a student activist who seduces a Japanese-allied
Chinese intelligence official in World War II-era Shanghai to pave way
for his assassination, only to give away the plot at the last minute.Lee edited the movie before it was released in China, where it became a box office hit.Unknown
before "Lust, Caution," Tang, who is in her late 20s, became a
household name in the Chinese-speaking world with her portrayal of an
undercover activist who falls too deep into a sexually charged
relationship with the enemy."Lust, Caution" also won the top Golden Lion prize at the Venice Film Festival last year.Chinese
authorities recently banned the producer of "Lost in Beijing," another
sexually explicit movie about corrupted morals in modern China, after a
censored version of the film had been cleared and was released in
Chinese theaters.Lee, who won best director Oscar for the gay
romance "Brokeback Mountain," was aware of Chinese worries about "Lust,
Caution." He cut the movie's sexually explicit scenes and edited a line
so Tang's character would appear less of a traitor to the Chinese cause.Many
Chinese are still sensitive about the Japanese military's atrocities
during its World War II-era invasion of China. The Hollywood movie
"Memoirs of a Geisha" was not released in the country.Although
the timing of the reported ban against Tang is unusual, it is not
uncommon for the Chinese government to tighten media controls during
key political events. China's National People's Congress is currently
holding its annual meeting in Beijing.Zhang Pimin, deputy
secretary-general at China's Film Bureau, told The Associated Press in
a phone interview he has n't seen any orders about a ban against Tang. [/quote]