Now, here's a strange fit. According to Variety, Chinese studio Shenzhen Golden Coast Film has bought the rights to remake the Spanish film Torremolinos 73 -- which is a comedy about the porn industry. Remember, this is the country that required Ang Lee to cut 30 minutes out of his NC-17-rated Lust, Caution to make it suitable for Chinese theaters, where all films must be appropriate for general audiences. Won't Shenzhen Golden Coast Film have to cut out, um, pretty much the entire movie?

Not necessarily. I saw Torremolinos 73 in 2005, when it had a brief, sporadic run on a few U.S. screens. As I noted in my review, it's set in Spain at a time when the country was conservative and repressed under the rule of Francisco Franco. The sexual revolution had not yet taken over as it had in some other countries. The movie has a joke about frumpy, sexless housewives going to see Last Tango in Paris because they thought it was a musical.

It seems to me -- and perhaps this is what Shenzhen Golden Coast is thinking -- that a movie about sexual repression and general prudishness might be a good fit in closed-off modern-day China. A country that chops a half-hour out of an Ang Lee film probably should see a story like this. Even though it's about an average married couple who start making sex tapes as a means of income, it doesn't have to be a sexually explicit film. The original was sexually frank, but not what you'd call titillating or erotic. It's a story that could be told with minimal actual sex and nudity, if need be. And it might touch on some cultural issues that resonate with Chinese audiences.

The Mandarin-language remake is scheduled to go into production within the next few months, directed by one-name Chinese filmmaker Agan.

categories Cinematical