a bit outdated but........
Sep 26, 2007Shorter version of Lust to be shown here
Lee Ang's thriller is rated NC 16 and will most likely show fewer sexy scenes than the original
By Douglas Tseng
THOSE waiting to catch Lee Ang's erotic espionage thriller Lust, Caution when it opens next Thursday will get to see a shorter version of the film.
Instead of the 157-minute original that won the Golden Lion for Best Picture at the Venice Film Festival earlier this month and made news for its sex scenes, the one that will be shown here will be 148 minutes long.
It comes with an NC 16 rating which means those under 16 cannot watch it. The Board of Film Censors gave it that rating because of 'scenes of intimacy'.
The film, set in Japanese-occupied Shanghai in the 1940s, is based on a short story by Chinese writer Eileen Chang. It is about a group of patriotic students who plan to assassinate the intelligence chief in the Japanese-backed Chinese government during World War II.
As China does not have a ratings system, Lee had to cut a version deemed suitable for general viewership there.
This means that the much-hyped love scenes between the leads - Tony Leung Chiu Wai, who plays an influential political figure, and newcomer Tang Wei, who plays a resistance fighter - have been abbreviated for the Chinese market.
It is understood that this is the same version Singapore will be getting.
Lee Ang had said in interviews that the trims did not compromise the plot of the movie and character development, although they do dampen some of its emotional intensity.
On the intense love scenes, Leung told Hong Kong newspaper Apple Daily: 'These scenes are very important. They weren't designed to generate buzz. I portrayed those scenes as artistic performance. I couldn't hold myself back too much.'
In Taiwan, a five-member government committee voted that the film be released in Taiwan uncut under an R rating which bars viewers under 18.
The Government Information Office has also hailed Lee as the 'Glory of Taiwan' and has picked the film to be the country's candidate for the 2008 Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.
In Hong Kong, the drama, which is reportedly uncut, got a Category III rating which bans viewers younger than 18.
Some Lee Ang fans here are disappointed by the version Singapore will get.
Teacher Shirley Lee, 37, said: 'I would prefer to see the un-edited version of any film that I watch. I don't like it when movies are cut to meet marketing, distribution or censorship needs.'
At press time yesterday, Lust's Singapore distributor could not be reached for comment.[email protected]
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