Thursday, 14 April 2011

China stopped the clock on time travel

BEIJING – China’s media authorities have stopped the clock on time travel in film and television, saying the sci-fi notion “disrespects history.” - The Hollywood Reporter

What an interesting shift. Why on earth would The Communist Party of China want to ban the time travel genre in their media?

As Jonathan Landreth wrote in The Hollywood Reporter, it is a most uncommon decision "for a country whose big and small screens have long been filled with historically porous period epics about scandalized courts of bygone eras". It might be evident to some but the fact that The CPC currently celebrates their 90th anniversary since its founding, is no coincidence for this sudden change in media censoring.

Since the CPC is no newcomer to media censoring, this latest change comes as no certain surprise. However it remains an odd thing to deploy such serious measures to a seemingly unthreatening and innocent form of escapism. In an interview with the film critic and journalist Raymond Zhou Liming told The Hollywood Reporter (referring to the fact that time travel belongs to superstition) about the rationale for time travel's ban, that “Most time travel content that I’ve seen (in literature and theater, that is) is actually not heavy on science, but an excuse to comment on current affairs”. In relation to this the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television in China stated, motivating their choice of censorship, that “Producers and writers are treating serious history in a frivolous way, which should by no means be encouraged anymore”.

If this news is neither shocking nor sounds like some headline out of a sci-fi movie then there might just be some meddling in the measure of time we find ourselves in right this moment (kind of like something out of The Twilight Zone).

No comments: