Singapore International Film Festival

Part 2 to local erotic thriller

Adult-oriented Siew Lup, starring Rebecca Chen, will premiere at the Singapore International Film Festival.
Adult-oriented Siew Lup, starring Rebecca Chen, will premiere at the Singapore International Film Festival.PHOTO: SINGAPORE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

Local film-maker Sam Loh's adult-oriented Siew Lup, his follow-up to Lang Tong, is among 161 films screening at the film fest

Singapore film-maker Sam Loh made waves last year with the release of R21-rated erotic thriller Lang Tong, which its maker billed as "Singapore's most controversial film".

Loh, 49, has made good on his promise to do a follow-up. His adult-oriented Siew Lup - also a thriller with scenes of nudity - will make its premiere at the Singapore International Film Festival, which opens on Nov 23.

Siew Lup will be among the 161 films screening at the event this year, which is now in its 27th edition.

Loh says that the film, which at press time had not yet been rated, is going to be "a bit more sexy" than the first time. Like the first movie, the dialogue will be in Mandarin, but the revenge thriller will have a new story, unrelated to the first.

Despite its saucy premise, Lang Tong earned less than $100,000 at the box office, far below the millions that a comedy release from Jack Neo might make.

Loh says he is happy with the result as it shows there is enough of a niche for edgy fare with a local flavour. "The point is that we are trying to make a different kind of Singapore film, the kind that you see coming from South Korea or Japan," he says.

  • BOOK IT / SINGAPORE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

  • WHERE: Marina Bay Sands, The Arts House, Capitol Theatre, Filmgarde Bugis+, National Gallery Singapore, National Museum of Singapore, Objectifs Centre for Photography and Film, Shaw Theatres Lido.

    WHEN: Nov 23 to Dec 4

    INFO: For schedule and booking, go to sgiff.com


    From arthouse to sexploitation flicks

    This year's line-up of 161 films run the gamut, not just in country of origin, but also in style. There are sensitive arthouse dramas as well as sexploitation flicks and action thrillers.

    In the Special Presentation section is Mrs K, billed as an "urban Western", starring Hong Kong actors Simon Yam and Kara Wai, and Taiwanese rocker Wu Bai.

    Malaysian Hoi Yuhang directs this action thriller with dialogue in Cantonese, Mandarin and English.

    Singaporean film-maker K. Rajagopal's A Yellow Bird gets its long-awaited premiere. The film was in the news when it was in the running for a Camera d'Or award at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year. It tells the story of an ex-convict (local actor Sivakumar Palakrishnan) and his unlikely friendship with a prostitute (China's Huang Lu).

    Fans of Indonesian martial arts thriller The Raid (2011) should find Headshot right up their alley. It stars The Raid's action hero Iko Uwais, with Singapore actor Sunny Pang playing the villainous gang leader Lee.

    British director Ken Loach's I, Daniel Blake won the Palme d'Or at Cannes this year. His work will premiere at the Singapore International Film Festival's Cinema Today section.

    Blake is an ordinary bloke whose life is thrown into disarray when, after a heart attack, he finds himself in a bureaucratic hell trying to get social benefits.

He does, however, feel that the restrictions placed on R21 films - banners cannot be displayed in cinema lobbies and screenings are not allowed in Housing Board zones, for example - hamper the film's ability to find an audience.

No date has been set for a cinema release for Siew Lup, the second work in his Femme Fatale trilogy. The film will star local YouTube personality Melody Low. Rebecca Chen, a dancer, will make her acting debut in the film. It also stars actor Sunny Pang.

Pang is unfazed by acting in the buff. "I've done it before," he says. He plays a char siew (roast pork) seller who suspects that his young wife is having an affair. Pang, 44, feels the focus should fall not on the lurid aspects of the story, but on its style.

"Sam and I love Korean thrillers, such as I Saw The Devil, so he decided to do something different from the usual kind of Singapore film," he says.

The thriller is in the Singapore Panorama section of the festival, which includes the romance drama anthology 4 Love, the teenage story Ariel & Olivia from Kan Lume, the experimental and wordless I'm Coming Up by Min-Wei Ting and a collection of short films.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 28, 2016, with the headline 'Part 2 to local erotic thriller'. Print Edition | Subscribe