Three-dimensional film “3D Sex and Zen Extreme Ecstasy” with its ambiguous reviews worldwide and the fact that it was banned in China will be presented for the judgment of Lithuanian viewers in the 17th Vilnius International Film Festival during the Midnight Screenings.
The viewers could not expect a hotter surprise even for St. Valentines Day. “It is just like [being a] voyeur near someone's bed”, the producer Stephen Shiu shares his impressions, smiling just after the show with 3D glasses in his hand. His joy is grounded on the fact that this erotic costume drama directed by Christopher Sun Lap Key from Hong Kong just after it came to the screens aroused huge interest and discussions all over the world. The debut of the “3-D Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy” in Hong Kong outrivaled Hollywood hits that were breaking records – on the first day the scandalous film gathered more income than the famous “Avatar” dir. by James Cameron.
The film, plentiful of erotic scenes, arrives to Lithuania in uncensored form. The cultural guards in other countries were not as tolerant and benevolent in respect of this film. The government of China uncompromisingly banned this film. The UK censored it. British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) ordered to take out two minutes of brutal sex scenes.
Film advertising campaign has also been criticized. Film posters and trailers claim that it is the first erotic film in 3D format. The authors do not mind the fact that in 1969 the film “The Stewardesses” directed by the American Al Silliman Jr. was made to watch with 3D glasses on.
Regardless of all these accusations it does not stop from gathering fans all over the world. Zoe Li from CNNGo says in her review: “I walked out of the first private screening of the softcore "3D Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy" never wanting to have sex again. Not because the sex scenes were gross -- they actually ranged from picturesque to silly -- but because its message of "true love doesn't need sex" was so convincing.”
In one month we will be able to see whether Lithuanian viewers will leave the Midnight Screening full of such thoughts, right after the start of Vilnius IFF. To reflect on pure love while watching breathtaking erotic scenes and naked bodies is quite a challenge. The beauties gather in crowds around the main character – the spoiled scholar of the Ming Dynasty, Wei Yangsheng. At first he feels the passion for one girl – a daughter of wealthy Taoist. But right after the marital ceremony the girl submits to her father's faith and cannot fully satisfy Wei Yangsheng's sexual needs. Being haunted by his unfulfilled fantasies he finds himself in the Pavilion of Ultimate Bliss where the lewd Prince of Ning enjoys orgies with the hungry nymphomaniacs.
Sea of Intimate Views
“3D Sex and Zen Extreme Ecstasy” is not the only erotic film in the programme of “Kino Pavasaris”. The viewers of the festival will see drama “The Slut“. The film narrates the story of 35 year old village prostitute, who is raising her two daughters and is in love with a man who still fails to bridle her passionate nature. The Israeli director and actor debuted in the parallel programme in the Cannes film festival and became famous due to her decision to take part in an open and intimate act which was accepted by many as artistic pornography.
The controversial and hot Portuguese drama “Blood of my Blood”, dir. João Canijo, will also be shown. It is about mother’s efforts to end the affair of her daughter and a married professor who has some connections with her own past.
One more extraordinary film about sex in the programme of Vilnius IFF is “Shame”, directed by Steve McQueen. Awarded as the best actor in Venice Film Festival Michael Fassbender of German and Irish origin here played a lonely and morbid man who suffers from sex and porn addiction and whose routine is disrupted by the visit of his younger sister.
Almost 200 films await the viewers of the 17th Vilnius International Film Festival. Many of them will definitely arouse discussions, feelings, experiences, reflections, and some of them might even shock. The participants of the cinema feast that opens eyes to one's life will not remain indifferent for sure.
Vilnius IFF, which is regarded as the fastest growing film festival in Eastern Europe, last year gathered 64 thousand cinema lovers. This year the festival will take place March 15-29.