Tarantino and the pirates of China

Cannes Film Festival opened today, with three films from China in the Feature Films sections, two actors, Maggie Cheung and Zhang Ziyi on the Ones to Watch List and the hot pre-opening forum was that favourite of everyone who makes a buck off artists, piracy.

With paranoid doomsday predictions from among others the masters of virus, worm and spam research Microsoft, and unrealistic remedies including digital ‘tattooing’ one person seemed to manage a pragmatic response devoid of the hysteria of the accounting department which made up the bulk of the forum. Cannes jury president, Kill Bill Tarantino, whose oeuvre is one long essay on intellectual piracy had this to say about those nasty swashbucklers:

On one hand, this is a business. … You need to have a healthy industry,” the director said. But he condoned the fact that pirated copies of his film “Pulp Fiction” circulate in China, where it would not otherwise be released, and said he is grateful that certain rare movies not available from legit routes can be found on bootleg copies. “I would be a liar if I was to say, across the board, no piracy.

And as for the movies, 张艺谋 Zhang Yimou’s martial arts epic 十面埋伏 Shi Mian Mai Fu House of Flying Daggers is in the “Out of Competition” section, Chang Cheh’s 1971 classic San Duk Bei Do The New one-Armed Swordsman is in the Cannes Classics section, and the movie I’ve been waiting for, 王家卫 Wong Kar Wai’s ‘sequel’ to In the Mood for love the sci-fi 2046 is in the main competition. Actor 张曼玉 Maggie Cheung is back again in 2046, hoping for an award after missing out last time around in In the Mood for Love, and shampoo-ad model 章子怡 Zhang Ziyi is in both this and House of Flying Daggers. All movies available at your local government-sponsored DVD pirate shop today (Cannes special on all three).