Recently a story circulated including a rough translation of a ruling by China’s General Bureau of Radio, Film and Television saying that movies and TV programs based on time travel or on the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature should not “be encouraged anymore”. The part about time travel was mistranslated, however. China hasn’t banned time travel movies. In fairness, they’re just getting the Ashton Kutcher magnum opus Butterfly Effect over there, so even if this were a correct translation we would understand.
The true purpose of the ruling seems to be to discourage the misrepresentation of historical figures in films and TV shows, including in time travel movies. As for limiting the adaptation of the Four Great Classical Novels, that may be out of respect (no crappy adaptations of revered source material) or, more likely, it’s about controlling dissent: adaptations of the Novels are often used to subversively criticize those in power. Hopefully this won’t affect Neil Gaiman’s adaptation of Journey To The West.
It’s not particularly surprising that a country without free speech won’t let you say whatever you want about a historical figure. Meanwhile in America (F**K YEAH!), we’re making a film adaptation of a book titled “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter“. God bless America.
[Hat tip and one Grays Sports Almanac to /film.]