“South Park” blew the doors wide open on China’s censorship stranglehold on Freedom of Speech in the United States of America. Many companies and industries have chosen to turn the other cheek at the behest of tapping that 1.3 billion people market.
The NBA, Blizzard, Riot Games and Hollywood have all thrown up the proverbial white flag to surrender to communist china. There’s just too much money at stake for them.
But Quentin Tarantino just joined “South Park” in telling the People’s Republic of China to get lost with its censorship nonsense.
2019 has been an unprecedented year for movies. “Avengers: Endgame” officially surpassed “Titanic” and “Avatar” as the highest-grossing film ever made. The amount of Academy Award contenders for Best Picture is seemingly endless including: “Avengers: Endgame,” “Joker,” “Bombshell,” “The Irishman,” “Rocketman,” “Us,” “Knives Out,” “Little Women,” “Pain & Glory,” “Parasite,” “Marriage Story,” “Ford v. Ferrari,” “The Lighthouse,” “Motherless Brooklyn,” “Uncut Gems” and “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.”
There can be a maximum of ten in that category and all of them have a legitimate shot at the top honor. Really.
Oh, and don’t forget about Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood,” starring two knockout performances from both Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt.
Tarantino’s ninth feature is effectively a buddy comedy about a fading television actor, Rick Dalton (DiCaprio), and his stunt double Cliff Booth (Pitt), navigating through 1969 Hollywood at a time when the Golden Era was about to end. But that’s just a backdrop to the real-life Charles Manson murders that claimed the lives of five people including actress Sharon Tate.
Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood,” is a wildly controversial film. For instance, Booth allegedly got away with murdering his wife. At least, that’s the perception of him. Tarantino took the Charles Manson tragedy and rewrote it in the way he did with “Inglorious Basterds.” But it was his depiction of Martial Arts legend Bruce Lee (Mike Moh) as a bombastic braggart buffoon that rubbed many people the wrong way including his daughter, Shannon Lee.
Although “Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood” came out in July in North America and opened in the weeks after in other territories, it still hasn’t opened in China yet.
Now, it won’t.
Shannon Lee, who has been publicly critical about the depiction of her father in the film, allegedly petitioned China’s National Film Administration demanding that the scenes with Bruce Lee be cut from the film, before the Sony movie opens in the country.
But Tarantino is a stickler about anybody messing with his films. He’s notorious for that, which is why he always, always gets the “final cut.” That means he’s the last person to clear the movie before it’s released. 98-percent of directors don’t have that power.
And Tarantino is reportedly refusing to do so for that Chinese box office money, which means Sony loses out on a boatload of cash.
The film has earned $366 million to date and likely would have exceeded the $400 mark after bowing in the Middle Kingdom. DiCaprio remains a huge star in China thanks to “Titanic.” which was obviously a huge hit in China in 1997.
It’s really nice to see artists like Tarantino and Trey Parker & Matt Stone defy the People’s Republic of China. There must be millions of Chinese people disappointed that they won’t see this daring epic masterpiece. But maybe they’ll just pirate it anyway when it hits VOD November 5th.