Posted by Joel Martinsen on Monday, January 18, 2010 at 5:36 PM
Update (2010.01.20): SARFT has responded to the rumors (it denies them, natch).
Microblogs in China are buzzing with a report that Avatar may be pulled from 2D screens to make way for Confucius (孔子), the new biopic directed by Hu Mei and starring Chow Yun-fat as the sage.
Avatar, a Hollywood import, has grossed 500 million yuan in China since it was released at the beginning of the month.
The Wuxi Big World Cineplex posted the following notice to its website today:
The notice has now been taken down, but it is still visible in a cached copy on Baidu.
According to the China News Agency, which spoke to the cinema, the posting was in error: the cinema said it had not received any notice, and it would only be stopping 2D versions of Avatar (film and digital) on the 23rd. The 3D version would continue to be shown.
There is no 3D version of Confucius, commenters have pointed out. Other sources have been reporting that the 2D Avatar has indeed been ordered to give way to Confucius. Commenter DarkSideMoon in a related Douban thread wrote:
Hong Kong's Apple Daily ran a report containing further rumors:
Update (2010.01.19): Shenyang's Huashang Morning Post reports that many cinemas in the city are replacing Avatar with Confucius on the 23rd:
Links and Sources
Jobs in China
Henry on The Eurasian Face
Caroline W on Big in China
Michael on Julia Lovell on translating Lu Xun's complete fiction: "His is an angry, searing vision of China"
Brandon K. on Clueless academic takes on popular fantasy novels
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The Eurasian Face : Blacksmith Books, a publishing house in Hong Kong, is behind The Eurasian Face, a collection of photographs by Kirsteen Zimmern. Below is an excerpt from the series:
Big in China: An adapted excerpt from Big In China: My Unlikely Adventures Raising A Family, Playing The Blues and Becoming A Star in China, just published this month. Author Alan Paul tells the story of arriving in Beijing as a trailing spouse, starting a blues band, raising kids and trying to make sense of China.
Pallavi Aiyar's Chinese Whiskers: Pallavi Aiyar's first novel, Chinese Whiskers, a modern fable set in contemporary Beijing, will be published in January 2011. Aiyar currently lives in Brussels where she writes about Europe for the Business Standard. Below she gives permissions for an excerpt.
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From the Vault
Classic Danwei posts
+ Korean history doesn't fly on Chinese TV screens (2007.09): SARFT puts the kibbosh on Korean historical dramas.
+ Religion and government in an uneasy mix (2008.03): Phoenix Weekly (凤凰周刊) article from October, 2007, on government influence on religious practice in Tibet.
+ David Moser on Mao impersonators (2004.10): I first became aware of this phenomenon in 1992 when I turned on a Beijing TV variety show and was jolted by the sight of "Mao Zedong" and "Zhou Enlai" playing a game of ping pong. They both gave short, rousing speeches, and then were reverently interviewed by the emcee, who thanked them profusely for taking time off from their governmental duties to appear on the show.