Singapore Sidebar: Erotic Cinema

  • Hai Leong Toh


SIFF SIDEBAR: EROTIC CINEMA OF LI HAN HSIANG AND CHU YUAN The legendary directors, Li Han Hsiang and Chu Yuan, made chamber period films in the 1970s for the Shaw Studios in Hong Kong, helmed by the famous Shanghainese brothers Run Run and Runme. Those of us who lived through this period would remember it as prolific time of Hong Kong-made erotica. Films such as the 1973 Illicit Desire (Li Han Hsiang), which featured nudity, were routinely advertised in cinema trailers but were never shown intact. Singapore International Film Festival assembled several landmark erotic works from this period and showed them in the city for the first time on film, and uncut. The Chinese Courtesan films, a gentler but more fatalistic vision of producer Runme Shaw, began with Chu Yuan's first pugilistic - erotic masterpiece, Intimate Confessions Of A Chinese Courtesan (1972). It is the story of an older...