December 21, 2007

The language of sex

Quotable quote I say:
“Each time they have intercourse, it’s like a conversation — and sex is the ultimate body language,” says Ang Lee.
This is said in an interview in the context of his movie this year, Lust, Caution, which
is based on a 1979 novel by Eileen Chang and won the Golden Lion, the top prize at the prestigious Venice Film Festival. It got mediocre reviews at Metacritic & Rotten Tomatoes (60-65% rating). (Update: This article about awards-bait movies calls it a box-office dud, having raked in a mere $4.4 million in 143 theaters over 80 days. That said, see below about what may have killed it to some extent!)

However, I am a great fan of Ang Lee's direction in Brokeback Mountain and also love Tony Leung's screen presence (in his Wong-kar Wai movies - Chungking Express, In the mood for love & 2046. I don't quite remember him in Zhang Yimou's Hero, but I was paying more attention in that movie to Zhang Ziyi and all the action that was happening in that fanciful movie.) So, I really look forward to seeing this movie. I should have seen it on the big-screen but the movie did not get widely released (likely because of the NC-17 rating*) and I missed it.

* Like this reviews in the New York Times says:
The Motion Picture Association of America, that tireless, cheerless band of Comstocks who regulate all things sexual and few things violent on behalf of the major studios, has saddled the film with an NC-17 rating — no one 17 and under admitted, even with an adult — because of “some explicit sexuality.” The horrors of female nudity (unshaven armpits!) and the vigorous pantomime of coitus apparently offended the sensibilities of the M.P.A.A., which routinely bestows R ratings to movies in which characters are tortured to death for kicks.
For more about the ridiculousness of MPAA in the way it hands out NC-17 rating, the death-wish for a movie because of limited release and distribution options, is covered in a great documentary I saw on TV earlier this year - This Film is Not Yet Rated.

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