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Cannes 2011: 3-D Sex From Hong Kong

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While artsy auteur films are the trademark of the Cannes film festival, some movies here on the market have a less than lofty goal: to make money and gain the dollars of the masses. The new Hong Kong 3-D erotic movie, 3D Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy, by director Christopher Sun, is a case in point. Heralded as an extravaganza of orgies set in Ming Dynasty China, the movie (as the producer proudly told me) has already grossed more than 36 million Hong Kong dollars, breaking the box-office numbers of the release of Avatar the first day screened. Already distributed in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and South Korea, the film may yet reach US audiences in the fall.

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producer and director

It has a bit of everything, director Sun eagerly told a group of journalists sitting together on comfy couches in a suite in a fancy hotel here in Cannes: "a lot of comedy, plot, sexy acting, kung fu fighting and flying daggers." It also has a lot of sex, but "no intercourse" and "no erect penises", because of the censorship code of the Chinese government. There is also no homosexuality portrayed -- as this would "repel audiences", the director noted -- but a bit of lesbian sex, because that is accepted by the mainstream.

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Lead actress, the winsome Saori Hara, chosen, said the director, because she is "very young, very cute, and enthusiastic", said she didn't mind being nude in the film, and actually enjoyed the scenes, especially -- her favorite -- sex on a swing, because "it was fun" (she giggled).

She found most difficult the scene where she is tattooed with snakes.