Film Fridays – Zhang Yimou’s martial arts film ‘Shadow’ hit with music copyright lawsuit

A lawsuit has cast a shadow over director Zhang Yimou’s stylish martial-arts epic “Shadow,” which won four prestigious Golden Horse Awards in Taipei last weekend, the most of any title.

The movie’s soundtrack earned a nomination for best original score for composer Loudboy (it did not win). But another composer has now accused “Shadow” producer Le Chuang Entertainment of stealing her work, alleging that it had been plagiarized in the film and used without credit in trailers.

Dong Yingda, a professor of film music at China’s Central Conservatory, wrote in a long statement on Weibo, China’s Twitter, that Zhang had commissioned her to develop the movie’s soundtrack in February of last year. She assembled a team of music history experts and top performers of classical Chinese instruments, such as the zither and pipa (a four-stringed lute), to create a score befitting the third-century Three Kingdoms period, during which the film is set.

After eight months of effort, the team was told its work wouldn’t be used in the final version of the movie and so would not be credited. But Dong said she and other team members were surprised to find upon its release that the final soundtrack sounded very familiar and that parts of their original score appeared in promotional videos.

– Excerpt from an article written by Becky Davis for Variety. Find the full article here

 

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