Just a few days ago, stories went around about Tarantino supervising a cut of Django Unchained that would pass Chinese censors. He was said to be “turning the blood to a darker color,” and “lowering the height of the splatter of blood,” among other things. At the time it was reported:
It was not clear whether China’s State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) will take a look at Django Unchained in the wake of Tarantino’s alterations, though reports last month said the film had been passed for release providing minor cuts were made.
Well it sounds like they weren’t too thrilled with the final product, as Django screenings were abruptly cancelled across the country. Some audience members said it was stopped just minutes into the screening, leading many to wonder if the projectionist had played trick.
Quentin TARANTINO’s Django Unchained was pulled from Chinese cinemas this morning, (11 Apr 2013), on its opening day. Midnight previews of the film had been held just a few days ago.
Distributors China Film Group and Huaxia Film Distribution were to have given the film a wide national release on behalf of Hollywood studio Sony Pictures.
On social media, cinema chains blamed the cancellation on “technical reasons”. Some audience members claimed that the film was stopped one minute into its projection at morning screenings with no clear explanation given.
“You might wonder how different theaters in different cities could have the same ‘technical’ difficulties. And technically speaking, the man from the government said he would throw our asses in forced labor camps if we continued.”
Django was set to be Tarantino’s first film to receive a theatrical release in China. His films — including Django — are, however, widely available uncensored on DVD. Tarantino has encouraged Chinese fans to view counterfeit DVDs of his films.
Speculation as to the reasons for the reversal of fortune are now rife within the Chinese industry and among cinema-goers. Attention has focused on scenes of male nudity that remained after the cuts required by the censor. [FilmBizAsia]
It sounds like these cancellations can be blamed on Fear of a Big Black Dong (my favorite Public Enemy album). Ironically, many blame same for the institution of slavery in the first place.