A new directive by the Chinese censorship board, also known as the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT), has banned producers of erotic movies, including their directors and leading actors, from participation in domestic film awards. Violators may be banned up to five years from the movie industry and recalcitrant studios may even have their licenses revoked. Xinhua quotes a report by the Beijing News that details exactly what kind of content SARFT frowns upon:
The SARFT asked nationwide studios not to produce films with footage of hardcore activities, rape, whoring, obscene sex exposing human genitals, or sex freaks, the newspaper said. Vulgar conversations, nasty songs and sound effects with sexual connotation were also restricted.
Okay, now, we’re kind of confused as to whether Ang Lee’s steamy blockbuster Lust, Caution would be classified as an “erotic film”. (We will also to be the first to admit we were one of those desperate tourists from the mainland that caught the movie in Hong Kong!) The sex in the film was definitely pretty damn hardcore, and while it wasn’t “obscene” (apart from the leading actress’ unshaved armpits which totally freaked us out!), you had pretty much everything in it, rape, bondage and what have you. “Human genitals” were also exposed, and although they didn’t show us Tony Leung’s love lollipop, the sight of his balls did leave us emotionally scarred.
While we’re on the topic of “erotic films”, has anyone ever wondered what Chinese porn would look like if someday the government did actually legalise it?
We’re still secretly hoping to be discovered as the next big pornstar. (Think of all the jobs that would be created!) I mean, look at all the softcore porn flooding your neighbourhood newsstands now. We don’t think it is at all far-fledged to entertain the thought that some day, just some day, like it or not, China will have a full-fledged porn industry (come on, if the Japanese can do it, so can we!). Jokes aside, the story with porn runs parallel with the prostitution problem we talked about earlier. These are things that society can’t just wish away (conservative and developing countries normally prefer to pretend it isn’t there by closing one eye). But, if you don’t legalise it, how can you hope to regulate it?
Photo from Xinhua