Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Sacha Baron Cohen Reportedly Returning To Write, Produce, Star In & Direct The Freddie Mercury Biopic Sacha Baron Cohen Reportedly Returning To Write, Produce, Star In & Direct The Freddie Mercury Biopic Watch: James Bond Is Back In First Trailer For 'Spectre' Starring Daniel Craig, Lea Seydoux, Dave Bautista, & More Watch: James Bond Is Back In First Trailer For 'Spectre' Starring Daniel Craig, Lea Seydoux, Dave Bautista, & More Terrence Malick's Next Film With Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara & Michael Fassbender Reportedly Gets Titled Terrence Malick's Next Film With Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara & Michael Fassbender Reportedly Gets Titled Watch: Jake Gyllenhaal Gets Bloody And Bruised In First Trailer For Boxing Drama 'Southpaw' Watch: Jake Gyllenhaal Gets Bloody And Bruised In First Trailer For Boxing Drama 'Southpaw' New Infographic Lays Out Canonical 'Star Wars' Timeline With Films, TV And Books New Infographic Lays Out Canonical 'Star Wars' Timeline With Films, TV And Books First Official Image: Jesse Eisenberg As Lex Luthor In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' First Official Image: Jesse Eisenberg As Lex Luthor In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' Watch: First Trailer For Arnold Schwarzenegger's Zombie Pic 'Maggie' With Abigail Breslin Watch: First Trailer For Arnold Schwarzenegger's Zombie Pic 'Maggie' With Abigail Breslin Idris Elba Replaces Jamie Foxx In Harmony Korine's 'The Trap,' Al Pacino, Robert Pattinson, James Franco Also Join Idris Elba Replaces Jamie Foxx In Harmony Korine's 'The Trap,' Al Pacino, Robert Pattinson, James Franco Also Join Watch: Explore The Loneliness Of Sofia Coppola's Films With This Supercut Watch: Explore The Loneliness Of Sofia Coppola's Films With This Supercut 10 Terrible Films Starring Great Actors 10 Terrible Films Starring Great Actors Watch: Tom Hanks Acts Out His Filmography In 7-Minutes On 'The Late Late Show' Watch: Tom Hanks Acts Out His Filmography In 7-Minutes On 'The Late Late Show' Watch: Trailer For 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' Unrated Blu-Ray Edition, Will Also Feature An Alternate Ending Watch: Trailer For 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' Unrated Blu-Ray Edition, Will Also Feature An Alternate Ending New Directors/New Films Review: Jia Zhang-ke Produced 'K' Is A New Take On Franz Kafka's 'The Castle' New Directors/New Films Review: Jia Zhang-ke Produced 'K' Is A New Take On Franz Kafka's 'The Castle' The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Chinese Censors Cut 40 Minutes Out Of 'Cloud Atlas,' Snip & Tweak 'Skyfall'

The Playlist By Charlie Schmidlin | The Playlist January 24, 2013 at 10:36AM

By now, it's well known and irksomely tolerated that all films face the wrath of a given market's ratings board or censors if wide distribution remains in their sights. While the MPAA and BBFC occasionally produce a decision that leaves some films weakened by cuts or alternate takes, the latest verdicts laid down by China for two of the holiday season's bigger films have taken that concept to a new extreme. Minor spoilers below.
4
Cloud Atlas Skyfall

By now, it's well known and irksomely tolerated that all films face the wrath of a given market's ratings board or censors if wide distribution remains in their sights. While the MPAA and BBFC occasionally produce a decision that leaves some films weakened by cuts or alternate takes, the latest verdicts laid down by China for two of the holiday season's bigger films have taken that concept to a new extreme. Minor spoilers below.

Though they premiered to polar opposite receptions both critically and financially, “Cloud Atlas” and Bond entry “Skyfall” have both fallen prey to the Chinese censors all the same. The country's government has a long history of altering films, homegrown and international -- the complete erasure of Chow Yun-Fat's character in “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End” comes to mind -- but now they've cut an entire scene and scrubbed dialogue from “Skyfall,” while essentially shredding “Cloud Atlas” by removing close to 40 minutes overall.

The version of Tom Tykwer and the Wachowskis' film in America and Europe ran 169 minutes, and the edit opening Jan. 31st in Beijing runs currently at 130. Among the scenes removed are any mentions or depictions of Ben Whishaw and James D'Arcy's affair, as well as “passionate love scenes” elsewhere, presumably between Sonmi-351 (Doona Bae) and Hae-Joo Chang (Jim Sturgess) in the Neo-Seoul storyline.

None of the filmmakers were involved in the edit, which was instead covered by the film's co-producers Dreams of the Dragon Pictures. However, they told Chinese media they understood the changes, a diplomatic response from the notoriously hands-on directors.

As for “Skyfall,” with only its Shanghai-set scene -- showing a French hitman (Ola Rapace) killing a Chinese security guard -- and subtitles describing prostitution along with Javier Bardem's Chinese-led torture later on changed, there's no real comparison with the wreckage done to its calendar counterpart. Naturally, the controversy has only revived running-time quips regarding “Cloud Atlas,” but besides cutting out arguably the best section of that film, China's strict cuts here are yet another unflattering example of the rigidity of their film distribution scene today. [Yahoo/THR]

This article is related to: Skyfall, Cloud Atlas


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome

E-Mail Updates