A Comeback for ‘Lust, Caution’ Actress Tang Wei
“Crossing Hennessy,” the first film starring Chinese actress Tang Wei since she was reportedly blacklisted by officials in China following her graphic sex scenes in “Lust Caution,” has been selected as the opening night film for the 34th Hong Kong International Film Festival on March 21.
ASSOCIATED PRESS Tang Wei is poised for her return to the big screen
“Crossing Hennessy,” a romantic comedy, is unlikely to receive the kind of controversy that “Lust Caution” generated. Tang’s co-star is actor-singer Jacky Cheung, one of Hong Kong’s most-popular entertainers. As the movie went into production last year, Tang seemed ready to take on different roles.
And it now appears that Chinese authorities are softening their view of Tang, who won critical praise for her role in director Ang Lee’s controversial espionage drama. This week, Hong Kong-based Edko Films, which is distributing “Crossing Hennessy,” said the movie received approval from mainland censors. Lorna Tee, general manager of Hong Kong-based Irresistible Films, which produced “Crossing Hennessy,” said: “We don’t know the release date for China, but it will be soon.”
In “Lust Caution,” Tang played a young student who helps set up an assassination plot against a treasonous Chinese official during the war-time Japanese occupation of Shanghai. Tang’s sexually explicit scenes with actor Tony Leung Chiu-wai drew a huge amount of attention in China and elsewhere when it was released in 2007. The movie’s more graphic sex scenes were edited for its distribution in China, although it was assumed that many movie fans in the country found access to unedited pirated DVDs.
Media reports at the time said that China’s State Administration of Radio, Film and Television slapped a ban on broadcasts featuring Tang because of the movie’s supposedly unpatriotic elements.
Ivy Ho, the writer-director of “Crossing Hennessy,” told The Wall Street Journal Thursday that the movie was made primarily for the Hong Kong market, but “of course we want to see it play everywhere.” Ho said the movie will open for general release in Hong Kong on April 1, and “Shortly after that, it will be shown in a dozen major cities in China.” She is making preparations for a promotional tour of China.