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Censored 'Skyfall' angers Bond fans

(Shanghai Daily)

09:36, January 23, 2013

Daniel Craig, leading actor of the James Bond film Skyfall, is connected live to the premiere of the film in Beijing, capital of China, Jan. 16, 2013. Skyfall is the 23rd James Bond film and will be screened on the Chinese mainland on Jan. 21. (Xinhua/Jin Liangkuai)

Chinese film fans are up in arms over cuts made to "Skyfall," complaining that censors have ruined the latest film in the James Bond franchise.

An edited version hit Chinese screens on Monday, prompting industry insiders to call for reform of the country's movie review system.

Shi Chuan, a professor from Shanghai University's school of film & TV arts and technology, proposed the enaction of relevant laws and the establishment of norms for movie censors to follow.

Changes to the latest Bond movie include the removal of a scene in Shanghai in which a Chinese security guard is shot by a French hitman, as well as changes to Bond's lines inquiring about a woman being forced into prostitution.

"Movie regulators should respect the producers' original ideas, rather than chopping scenes arbitrarily," Shi said.

However, he said he believed the censorship system was necessary for China's film industry. The content of imported movies must conform with local laws, as well as respect local culture and tradition, he said.

On the Chinese mainland, all imported movies are subject to reviews by the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television.

Usually, censors cut violent or steamy scenes before movies hit cinemas.

However, moviegoers sometimes complain about the alterations. Such cases include Ang Lee's 2007 movie "Lust, Caution," which was reportedly culled by 30 minutes.

Some movie experts have also complained about restrictions on sensitive topics.

During an annual session of China's political advisory body in March last year, Yin Li, vice chairman of the China Film Association, said Chinese filmmaking faces too many restrictions regarding sensitive topics such as public security, diplomacy, ethnic minorities and religion.

"I hope China can offer more freedom to filmmakers so that a more favorable environment can be created for the country's movie industry."

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