Anna’s Mounting Thai Pressure

Marketing reaches fever pitch

by Willow Green |
Published on

It's a publicity coup of the purest sort. You have a new, big-budget film about to open around the world and it's proving to be a hard sell. That's the situation facing 20th Century Fox and their historical epic Anna and the King. The stars may be A-list - Jodie Foster and Chow Yun-Fat - but 'The King and I without the singing' is proving a difficult line to pitch to modern cinema audiences. So what better way to market the film and publicise it than by using the argument of art and censorship to get the media in a lather? Surely it's no coincidence that in the week the film has its US premiere we're hearing stories about how Fox is going in all-guns firing to persuade the Thai government to show the film in Thailand. 'We are historically correct,' argued Foster this week, when she 'hit out' against the Thai authorities. 'I think when they see the movie they will be very proud of what we have done, whether they admit it or not.' 'For us, we really want the film to be shown here in Thailand,' said a studio source, 'as it has a certain historical significance.' The fact that the movie shows a Thai monarch in a light unacceptable to many Thai people is an issue which the marketing gurus have neatly sidestepped in this campaign.

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