(UPDATE) Tarantino’s ‘Django Unchained’: China spiking, none speaking (and we called it here)

If I belonged to a privileged Chinese Communist Party elite of notoriously parasitic apparatchiks dictating the terms of existence — down to fundamentals of family size and structure — to a captive population of more than a billion, I’d be in no hurry to approve that movie for wide national release. Would you? 

 

The last-minute order canceling the release followed not long after. Granted, it does seem like a stretch to imagine that China’s film authorities read — let alone promptly heed — the political musings in downpage film essays posted at the washingtontimes.com, but the timing is suggestive. It’s possible.

But more likely some in the ruling strata of the state cultural establishment screened the movie for themselves only very recently — motivated, perhaps, by the recent publicity surrounding Mr. Tarantino’s acquiescence to Chinese censorhip — and independently came to similar conclusions. Probably. But to be on the safe side, I better keep my mouth shut next time.

With an estimated net worth of $90 million, Quentin Tarantino will survive the loss of Chinese box office revenue for “Django.” But he must feel acutely embarrassed to have publicly bent to totalitarian censors only to get the spike anyway. The MPAA ratings board would never play a nasty trick like that on a Hollywood legend.

 

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