3D porn is a hit in Hong Kong

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Crowds flocked to movie theatres across Hong Kong in April to see the world’s first 3D porn film. The US$3.2 million movie, 3-D Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy, is loosely based on a piece of classical Chinese erotic literature. It reportedly features orgies and some very graphic sex scenes.

Set in the Ming Dynasty, the film chronicles the story of a young man who falls in love again with his ex-wife after being introduced to the “erotic world” by an aristocrat. The film stars Japanese actresses Saori Hara and Yukkio Suo.

Following its debut in Hong Kong, the movie opened in Taiwan and reportedly was to open in Japan and South Korea. Surprisingly, among the crowds of people in queues waiting to go into the cinemas, many were women.

AFP reported 32-year-old Justin Lai saying as she waited in line, “I’m not normally much of a moviegoer, but this one is too good to miss. I’d like to see what 3D porn is like on the big screen.”

AFP also reported that Italian director Tinto Brass announced a 3D remake of his 1979 Caligula and that Hustler magazine plans to produce a pornographic spoof of James Cameron’s Avatar.

Major and CJ Partner on 4D Theatre
Major Cineplex Group Plc, the leading theatre circuit in Thailand, announced plans for a joint venture with Korea’s CJ Entertainment to retrofit to 4D the IMAX theatre at the flagship Siam Paragon location.

This will be the first location outside of Korea’s four installations with the capability to screen major Hollywood movies with special effects such as wind, water, smells, fog and motion intertwined with 3D effects.

CJ Entertainment is already in the process of building a studio in Korea to handle the creation of effects. Major has the license for all of Thailand and will keep close watch on the performance of the 4D theatre, which will carry a ticket price of approximately $13 per person.

Jim Patterson, general manager of IMAX in Thailand, is enthusiastic about the 4D effects, noting that they could be applied to commercials as well as features. Of course, the commercials would have to be either produced in or converted to 3D first.

“Major is always looking at the latest trends and newest innovations in big-screen entertainment,” Patterson says. “And of course, Major will do what it takes to continue to be the leader in Thailand and in the region.”

Transformers 3
, opening in July, will be the first to play the new 4D IMAX special effects.

China Film Head Calls for Film Classification
In March 2011, Yin Li, head of the China Film Group and a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, said that despite a robust and growing domestic film industry, "very serious problems" exist.

Yin called for the creation of a regulated film-classification system to help diversify films while attracting more audiences. "People misunderstand classification. A lot of people think classification means that the government allows 'unhealthy' films," he said. "But actually, classification will protect youth from improper scenes." He also stated that strict laws would regulate product placement in films, an increasing concern.

While Yin desires more government regulations on those two issues, he wants less government involvement when it comes to censorship. He said government advice on sensitive issues makes movies seem unrealistic, especially when compared to films made in the 1980s and 1990s.

"Now, filmmakers seem to lose their voices regarding society today," Yin opined. "I think one of the reasons is film censorship."

He added, "The Ministry of Public Security will give opinions when we shoot a police-themed film. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will advise a film concerning foreign countries.”

According to Yin, Chinese filmmakers released 526 films in 2010, bringing in approximately US$1.5 billion at the box office.

"Last year, the State Council issued guidelines to promote the film industry," Yin noted. "If the government and people give us more support, I believe we can produce more qualified films to compete with Hollywood.”

Contact Scott Rosenberg with relevant news stories at prdivision@gmail.com. You may also follow him on Twitter @scott_cos or on Facebook at D Scott Rosenberg.