An award-winning movie produced in China has been withdrawn from Taiwan's annual Golden Horse Film Awards, reports said earlier this week.
Tuya's Marriage (圖雅的婚事), which won the Golden Bear prize for best picture at the Berlin Film Festival in February, was pulled as Beijing bars Chinese-produced films from competing for the Taiwanese awards, Chinese-language media reported.
"China has again interfered in the arts in the name of politics ... by blocking Chinese films from participating in Taiwan's Golden Horse Film Awards," according to the Liberty Times (the Taipei Times' sister newspaper).
Golden Horse organizers declined to comment on the reports earlier this week.
Tuya's Marriage, an unconventional love story about a Mongolian herdswoman and her two husbands, had been nominated for four prizes including best film and best director, and was considered a frontrunner due to its win in Berlin.
A new film is to depict a gay love affair between Salvador Dali, the eccentric master of the avant-garde, and his fellow Spaniard Federico Garcia Lorca, the doomed dramatist and poet.
Little Ashes, a UK-Spanish production, is set in the cultural and political tumult of 1920s Madrid and follows the intense friendship of three revolutionary young artists: Dali, Lorca and the Surrealist filmmaker Luis Bunuel.
Described by its producers as "racy" and "sexy," the film will show Dali and Lorca's feelings deepen into a love affair which the sexually repressed artist tries and fails to consummate. As a substitute, Lorca sleeps with a female friend, with Dali present as a voyeur.
The interpretation, by British screenwriter Philippa Goslett, is likely to cause controversy among biographers and historians. Although a physically intimate relationship between the men has long been rumored, Dali told interviewers more than once that he rejected the homosexual Lorca's attempts to seduce him.
Playing the larger-than-life Dali is an acting Mount Everest. In Little Ashes the part has gone to Robert Pattinson, a 21-year-old London-born actor best known to cinema audiences as Cedric Diggory in the Harry Potter series. Lorca will be played by the Spanish actor Javier Beltran, while the role of Bunuel is taken by Matthew McNulty, who was in Control, the recent biopic of Joy Division singer Ian Curtis. Little Ashes, named after a Dali painting, is directed by Paul Morrison.
The Exorcist was voted the scariest movie of all time in a Halloween poll published Wednesday.
The 1973 horror classic, starring Linda Blair as a possessed child, came out ahead of Jack Nicholson's The Shining in a survey conducted online among 6,500 customers of British music retailer HMV.
John Carpenter's Halloween took third place ahead of A Nightmare on Elm Street.
HMV executive Mark Frampton said, "The horror genre was not really taken seriously for a long time, but it's moved on from the slightly camp Hammer stereotypes that many of us remember and now enjoys the respect it fully deserves."
Meanwhile, a British film project has turned MySpace users into movie moguls, giving them a say in choosing the director, cast, soundtrack and marketing model.
While online interaction between fans and filmmakers is not new, the backers of Faintheart say they take the phenomenon further, and believe the Internet will become increasingly important to Hollywood and the movie world.