Monday, September 04, 2006

Lou Ye banned for five year from making films

A few years ago, Tian Zhuangzhuang received a ten-year ban on making film because of The Blue Kite.
Today, Lou Ye has been banned for five year from making films after showing Summer Palace in Cannes without government approval.

BEIJING (AFP) - China's censors have banned director Lou Ye from making films for five years after he showed his "Summer Palace" at the Cannes Film Festival without government approval, state press have said.

The State Administration of Radio, Film and Television banned the up and coming director for showing the film without getting the administration's approval for general release, Xinhua news agency reported Monday.

The movie was presented at Cannes in May and stood for the prestigious Palme d'Or prize.

The film is set around the 1989 Tiananmen democracy protests and follows the open and sexually free lives of Chinese students before the protests and how they deal with the bloody quelling of the demonstrations and its aftermath.

The ban essentially means that Lou, 40, will not be able to shoot movies in China for the next five years, film industry sources said earlier.

The ban began on September 1 and also included a five-year ban on the film's producer Nai An, Xinhua said.

Officials with the film administration were not immediately available for comment.

The 1989 democracy protests -- which saw hundreds of unarmed students and protesters killed in the streets of Beijing by the military -- remain a taboo subject in state-controlled media, including on the Internet.

Lou had given a copy of the film to censors for official approval before the Cannes showing, but officials said that due to the poor audio-visual quality of the copy submitted, they were unable to give the approval.

In an interview with AFP in Cannes, Lou defended the film, insisting it is first and foremost a love story and not a political tract, and said he decided to show it without Beijing's approval because he felt it "belongs to everyone".

State censors insist on approving all domestic films to be screened at overseas film festivals.



Blogger HarryTuttle said...

Does it mean he will have to make films outside China, or just that he cannot distribute them officialy in Chinese theatres?
How come Tian Zhuangzhuang made 3 films since Blue Kite?

September 04, 2006 11:28 pm  
Blogger Ouyang Feng said...

I don't know if he's willing to make films outside China, but he is not allowed to direct a film for 5 years in China.
The Blue Kite was presented at the Tokyo Film Festival in 1992 and won the Great award and the best actress award (Lu Liping). Then, he got banned for 10 years to direct films for having presented his film without the official authorization. The ban got cancelled in 1995 but he still couldn't make films for financial and political reasons. However he produced films, like So Close to Paradise by Wang Xiaoshuai, The Making of Steel by Lu Xuechang, and too long ago, Passages by Chao Yang. The film he directed after the ban was the remake of Springtime in Small Town in 2002 (10 years after The Blue Kite).

September 07, 2006 2:28 pm  
Blogger HarryTuttle said...

Thanks for the explanation.
Yeah I saw Passages and Love of May this summer, that he produced.

September 09, 2006 6:16 pm  
Blogger Ouyang Feng said...

No problem.
I saw Passages a couple of years ago at the festival in La Rochelle. I thought it was okay.

September 10, 2006 1:22 pm  
Blogger Ouyang Feng said...

here is also an article about it :
Lou Ye article

And as we mentioned Tian Zhuangzhuang, his latest film, The Go Master, has only been selected at the New York Film Festival, which is quite odd. Delamu was too conventional and a bit disappointing I thought.
Summer Palace hasn't received that many good reviews either.

September 15, 2006 11:51 pm  

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