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(aka "Tung lau hap woo" or "Tong liu he wu")

 

directed by Scud
Hong Kong/Thailand 2015

 

Catholic good girl Joy (Fiona Wang) is somewhat miffed that dead author Yukio Mishima has supplanted her in the affections of boyfriend Hins (Adonis He) but feels humiliated when it becomes apparent that he has fallen for visiting out-and-proud mythology professor Antonio Ming (Jackie Chow) who proposes a utopian society where love has no borders in terms of gender or quantity of simultaneous partners. While she seeks the council of Ming's worldly research assistant Swan (Ching-Man Chin) - who has already made her own moves on Hins - Hins confides to Ming that he has never though of himself as being gay but relates to the feelings of the young Mishima and a desire to know himself. Ming's motives seem to be not so pure (except in the context of his beliefs) and he introduces Hins to a sensual world of pan-sexual free love that shakes his sense of self and his relationships with Joy and his mother (Jie Shui) who he feels has given all of herself to him at the neglect of her own feelings since his fisherman father left them (the specifics of which are unclear in his mind but it may have been a suicide). Although director Scud has acknowledged his indebtedness to Pier Paolo Pasolini, UTOPIONS is dedicated to Mishima, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, and Derek Jarman. While Hins identifies with the young Mishima and the nude romps aboard Ming's yacht and on the beach recall in some ways Jarman's SEBASTIANE (along with a fantasy sequence in which Ming is impaled by arrows), the film does take a Fassbinder-esque turn in the third act as Hins and Ming stand trial for having sex with Ming apparently being under the age of majority is so theatrically-staged and gives way to melodramatic plot twists that one is not entirely sure that it is supposed to be real. Sexually explicit without being pornographic, the film does not entirely convince that its utopian ideals are anything more than an excuse to show plenty of nudity and sex, but the film is so admirably unabashed in its depiction of sexuality in a manner that seems quite alien compared to its western counterparts that one could easily see Scud (already a seasoned filmmaker) moving towards more substantial cinematic statements about sexuality or just as easily becoming something akin to the Tinto Brass of homoerotic philosophy.

Eric Cotenas

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Theatrical Release: January 2016 (USA)

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DVD Review: Breaking Glass Pictures - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

DVD Box Cover

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Distribution

Breaking Glass Pictures

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1:27:51
Video

2.29:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.31 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio Cantonese/Japanese/English/Mandarin Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Breaking Glass Pictures

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.29:1

Edition Details:
� 2017 Interview with Scud by qFlix producer Thom Cardwell (16:9; 42:33)
� Making-of (16:9; 9:07)
� Deleted Scenes (16:9; 9:13)
� Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 0:59)
� '30 Years of Adonis' Trailer (16:9; 1:22)
� Previews

DVD Release Date: May 16th, 2017
Amaray

Chapters 12

 

Comments

Breaking Glass provide a serviceable progressive, anamorphic widescreen encode. The optional English subtitles are a tad large but seem free of errors. The main extra is a 2017 Interview with Scud by qFlix producer Thom Cardwell in which the director discusses the origins of his acronym, how the film differs from his earlier work, as well as how his popularity in other territories lead to his acceptance in China and Hong Kong. The making-of is partially an interview with actor Adonis He who reveals that he was a Peking Opera dancer before becoming a model and then getting into acting. The rest of the segment is behind the scenes footage consisting mainly of the racier scenes. The deleted scenes segment gives more context to the conversation between Joy and Swan and the theatrical performance as well as including a few outtake images from the ending montage and final scene. The film's theatrical trailer is also included along with one for upcoming "30 Years of Adonis" which is apparently also built around actor He. Previews for other films are also included (including the previously covered BWOY, ESTEROS, and RETAKE.

  - Eric Cotenas

 


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

 

 

Distribution

Breaking Glass Pictures

Region 1 - NTSC

 

 




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