VULGARIA: Opening Night Film of 2012 New York Asian Film Festival

Grady Hendrix with director Ho-cheung Pang

On June 29th, we couldn’t wait to finish all the work and rushing to the special event at THE WALTER READE THEATRE, Lincoln Center, because it’s the opening night film screening of Vulgaria chosen by New York Asian Film Festival.  Directed by Pang Ho-cheung with many popular Hong Kong actors such as Chapman To, Kristal Tin, Simon Lui, Ronald Cheng, and Susan Shaw Yin-yin.  Vulgaria is extremely hilarious, naught and vulgar with an unstructured comedy about a film producer!

The film started with the actor Chapman To (a producer named Wai-cheung To) who is invited to a sharing session with film students of his career as a film producer.  Students question him the responsibility of a producer in making a film? And then he’s off, relating the epic story of his attempt to remake the 1976 classic adult film, Shaw Brothers’ exploitation movie I Want More!  Requested by a freaky and scary triad boss (played by Ronald Cheng Chung-Kei) to use the original leading actress Susan Shaw Yin-yin who is now in her 60’s.  Chapman came up an idea to use a body double with an actress wanna be who has a nickname Popping Candy (played by Dada Chan).

More than just a bunch of dirty jokes, the movie is disgustingly funny especially the highlights of the whole film: the ultimate feast of all crazy animal organs (“exotic” dishes served in Mainland China) and even the possibility of having sexual intercourse to the mules? With an original Chinese title that translates as Vulgar Comedy, Vulgaria is definitely outrageous but extremely hilarious that is full of shocking effects with nothing more than dialogue.

Shot in just 12 days without a complete script while Peng was working on another film at the same time, we have to call director Peng the comedy God (even Taiwanese director Giddens told us that he considered Peng a genius with multiple talents who can write, produce and direct!) Through all the funny and crazy plots, Peng actually describes how producer’s lives are not easy. They need to find the artistic way to make a film but at the same time, they need to control the budget and to please all the investors.

We especially love the opening of the movie when it has BIG warnings before the film starts to inform the audience that a censor might demand and it’s your choice if you can’t take the vulgar dialogs and director Peng even gives the audience 10 seconds to leave the theater. Now, that’s clever!

For more:

Interviewing director Pang Ho-cheung

2012 NYAFF Opening

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