In an unusual gesture, China's State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) announced a list of film censorship criteria re-addressing its ban on pornography and violence in movies.
The announcement came around the same timethat an official rejected the possibility of a film ratings system, as well as an alleged ban on actress Tang Wei.
A notice was posted on the SARFT website during the on-going National People's Congress and Political Consultative Conference, the annual political gathering which is held in Beijing until March 18.
The notice said the list is a reiteration of the existing film regulations such as Regulation on Film Management and Regulation on Film Script Registration. And it demands related units under SARFT to rigorously implement the list during the film registration, reviewing and exhibition process.
Films will be banned if containing 10 kinds of content. This includes films promoting pornography, gambling, violence and subordination, films disclosing state secrets, causing harm to national security, national pride and interests and films violating national religion policy, promoting cults and superstition.
There are nine kinds of scenes that will be trimmed: including promiscuous and perverted sexual activity, rape, prostitution, homosexuality, masturbation and revealing genitals; vulgar dialogue or music and sound effects that had a sexual connotation; murder, violence, horror, evil spirits and plots that confuse good and evil, details of crime, sensational gory scenes, violence and drug abuse, as well as excessively horrifying pictures, conversations, background music and sound effects.
The SARFT notice seems to echo an official's rejection on the film ratings system earlier last week. Liu Binjie, director of the General Administration of Press and Publications, told local media that a ratings system will not take place in the near future. He said that as China has not set up order and regulation in the market, a ratings systemwould enable porn to enterthe market.
The Chinese authorities' tightening on film entertainment was also exemplified in an alleged ban of actress Tang Wei late last week. An ad for acosmetic product starring Tang was banned allegedly because of a SARFT memo to all TV stations.
Tang starred in Ang Lee's erotic espionage film Lust, Caution, which is believed to have displeased some officials and brought about the aftermath curb on internet video-sharing, the ban on the film Lost In Beijing and now tightened film censorship.
Tang is also said to be banned from print ads and feature contents, as well as major entertainment awards. Tang's management is yet to confirm the ban.