The year is 2154, and Earth belongs to the poor. The wealthiest citizens live on “Elysium,” an idyllic, disease-free utopia they built in space.
On Monday, a few hundred film fans in Los Angeles, Berlin and Sao Paolo got an early look at the future home of the 1 percent as imagined by “District 9” writer-director Neill Blomkamp.
Blomkamp showed about 10 minutes of footage from the anticipated film during a special screening. Matt Damon, who stars alongside Jodie Foster, introduced the footage in Berlin and appeared at Hollywood’s Arclight Theater via satellite.
In the film, Earth is a trash-filled landscape policed unforgivingly by robotic droids. Flying military tanks patrol the sky.
Damon plays a diseased Earthling trying to infiltrate Elysium to save himself, and perhaps all of humanity.
“I think the world of ‘District 9’ has a lot of very interesting race and impression-based ideas that I would still like to explore in that world,” he said.
“Elysium” opens Aug. 9.
‘Django Unchained’ pulled in China
“Django Unchained” became “Django Unscreened” on Thursday as Quentin Tarantino’s violent slave-revenge saga was pulled from Chinese theaters on its opening day, with the importer blaming an unspecified technical problem.
The rare suspension order by China Film Group Corp. was confirmed by theater employees throughout China and has led to speculation that the Hollywood film could have run afoul of Chinese censors despite weeks of promotion in the country.
Calls to the importer and to China’s regulatory agency, the State Administration of Radio Film and Television, were unanswered. The China office of Sony Pictures, which released the film, refused to comment.
“Django Unchained” reportedly cut some violent scenes and had already been cleared by China’s rigorous censors, who generally remove violence, sex and politically edgy content.
Photographer Xue Yutao said he was about one minute into the movie at a Beijing theater Thursday morning when a couple of theater employees walked in and told the audience that the screening would be postponed.