Clearly the Olympics are having knock-on impacts across many areas of society (that’s partly what makes them so interesting!). In a thorough article Liz Shackleton and Sen-lun Yu at Screen Daily look at the impacts the Games are likely to have on both domestic and international film industries.
“Within the film industry, there is more of a mood of nervous resignation. Local producers are grumbling about further censorship restrictions, as the Film Bureau attempts to avoid films that portray China in anything but a shining light during the Olympics.”
There is mention of Asia’s biggest ever movie, that is planned to give a national boost of moral in the months leading up to the opening ceremony:
“And it is still the case that the only way to guarantee a blockbuster is to produce a government-endorsed film. All the stops will be pulled out for John Woo’s $80m epic Red Cliff, which is part-financed by state-owned film giant China Film Group Corporation.
“The Chinese government regards the film as a showcase of Chinese culture and wants it released in July in the run-up to the Olympics.”
And…”Exhibitors are also expecting a rash of Olympics-related, quasi-propaganda films for one month before the games, such as Hou Yong’s The One, based on the true story of a Chinese athlete who escaped Japanese-occupied Manchuria to participate in the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics. However, they are not expected to set the box office on fire.”
The writers also summarise well the intriguing position that the Olympic games present regarding the media in general:
“The Beijing 2008 Olympics (August 8-24) will either be the biggest international coming-out party that China has ever seen, or a public-relations nightmare, with human-rights protesters spilling onto the streets and the Chinese government unsure how to deal with them.”
Read the whole article, including discussion of quotas on foreign films shown in China and tackling piracy, here.