Viva Erotica (a.k.a. Se qing nan nu) is a strange (yet strangely entertaining) import from Hong Kong that offers a relatively fresh look at the industry of low-budget Japanese filmmaking.If you can make it through the muddled subtitles (some of which make very little sense), you’re likely to find an intermittently compelling (if not entirely unique) tale of artistic compromise, on-the-set devotion, and professional disillusionment. Plus, it’s got a few swanky sex scenes.
Sing (Leslie Cheung) is an aspiring film director who is struggling with box-office failure and critical indifference. Following some supportive prodding from his low-key girlfriend, Sing accepts the offer of a few seedy producers and sets out to helm a low-budget porno flick.
Fully intent on infusing his skin movie with some artistry, Sing takes great pains to elevate his project beyond ‘low-rent jiggle flick’. Predictably, Sing must contend with a rocky relationship at home, a leading lady (Shu Qi) who’s as spoiled and difficult as she is reluctant to undress, and a few producers who simply what the movie finished, quality be damned.At times, [b]Viva Erotica[/b] seems precisely like the soft-core sex flick it’s trying to skewer. But overall, it’s not a bad little import; there have been plenty of American flicks to deal with the same issues, some better – some not.