Censors cut Cloud Atlas by 40 minutes for mainland audiences
Chinese money may have helped fund the production costs of the Hollywood hit Cloud Atlas - but mainland audiences won't be getting the full picture.
Authorities cut 40 minutes from the epic independent movie - almost a quarter of the film - state-run media said yesterday after its domestic premiere.
The reports came soon after deletions from the latest James Bond movie Skyfall, released last week on the mainland, prompted public frustration and even oblique criticism in official media.
Cloud Atlas runs for 172 minutes in the original version, which is released today in Hong Kong. But by the time the State Administration of Radio Film and Television had finished, it was little more than two hours long.
"The Cloud Atlas showing in China is about 130 minutes, with nearly 40 minutes deleted," said the Xiaoxiang Morning Post, based in Hunan province. Some deleted scenes included nudity, it said. Zhejiang province's Today Morning Express listed other edits that it said weakened the theme or confused the plot.
The editing has reportedly been carried out by the film's Chinese co-producer, Dreams of the Dragon Pictures, which put up more than US$10 million of the film's US$100 million budget.
Rules governing censorship on the mainland are opaque and reasons are not given for cuts. Few films escape the censors unscathed.
Beijing has strict rules about what films can be seen by the public, banning what it considers negative portrayals of contemporary politics or issues with the potential to trigger social unrest.
Ironically, much of the criticism of the film, which has received mixed reviews since its October release in the United States, has focused on its numbing length - with one reviewer on the Yahoo website dubbing it "pointless and too long".
Additional reporting by Staff Reporter