Monday, December 18, 2006

A Movie First: An Entire Country Gets Final Cut

The creators and stars behind "The Painted Veil" are fighting back from obscurity. A classic Oscar-style movie (literary pedigree, stars, period setting), "The Painted Veil" has been lost in the end-of-the-year shuffle. But the talent is taking their story to the LA Times and Variety to hope they can scare up some sympathy and some more marketing muscle from Warner Bros. They say WB has dropped the ball because its Oscar plate is already full with ""The Departed," "Letters From Iwo Jima," "Happy Feet" and "Blood Diamond." WB says editing tussles delayed the film's release and their ability to market it. And buried in the story is surely a Hollywood first: in order to get permission to film in China, the filmmakers gave China final cut! That's right, an entire country was given final cut when most top film directors have to fight for that right. Anything China wanted out came out. There was back and forth and compromise, but this is still bizarre. The US military always plays hardball when providing access for Hollywood and demands script cuts and the such. But final cut? I don't think they or any other country has ever been given this before. Crazy.

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