China censors eye Jia's 'Tattoo'

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HONG KONG -- Golden Lion-winning Chinese director Jia Zhangke on Tuesday said his planned movie set during China's turbulent Cultural Revolution is on hold in part because of the sensitive nature of the topic.

Jia said he remains in talks with Chinese censors about "Tattoo Age," an adaptation of a novel about young gangsters during the Cultural Revolution.

"The Cultural Revolution is a problem. ... It's not that you can't make a movie about it, but (Chinese censors) have tight restrictions," Jia said in a phone interview. "We're still communicating (with the Chinese censors)."

The 1966-76 Cultural Revolution was an ultra-radical political upheaval that saw thousands of people killed and millions persecuted.

Jia said that "Tattoo Age" also was shelved because of casting problems. Jia's producer, Chow Keung, said earlier that the filmmakers had not been able to land Taiwanese pop star Jay Chou for a part in the movie.

In the meantime, Jia has shot the documentary "Wu Yong," about the evolution of a fashion line from the assembly line to the catwalk, which he said has cleared Chinese censors.

Jia said he plans to attend the Venice Film Festival, which takes place Aug. 29-Sept. 8, after which he will focus on a documentary and a fictional movie about the relocation of an aircraft factory and its workers in the southwestern Chinese city Chengdu. That movie is called "24 City" in Chinese.

Jia won the Venice Film Festival's top award, the Golden Lion, last year for "Still Life," which revolves around demolition workers in a Chinese village that is being destroyed to make way for the Three Gorges Dam project.
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