Lust, Caution wins Best Picture, Real Sex Scenes, Lee booed, and Asian Dominance?

Sunday, September 09, 2007

The Ang Lee film Lust, Caution came away with the Golden Lion award for Best Picture from the Venice film festival. Here’s a snippet from the NY Daily News write-up:

Ang Lee’s sexually explicit spy thriller Lust, Caution won the Venice Film Festival’s top award yesterday, two years after he captured the same prize here with Brokeback Mountain.

Lust, Caution has been given an NC-17 rating in the United States, banning viewers under 17. The explicit, sometimes violent sex scenes between stars Tang Wei and Tony Leung were a major talking point in Venice.

Accepting the prize yesterday, Taiwan-born Lee said he was dedicating his prize to Ingmar Bergman, the Swedish director who died in July at age 89.

Real Sex?

According to different reports in Reuters and Rednet Lee intimated that some of the sex scenes were in fact real between Tony Leung Chiu Wai and Tang Wei - but what does that mean and to what extent? News clips from people there only go so far as to say he intimated the reality of the scenes - but never quote his actual words.

Lee Booed and a surprise winner?

While many are reporting on Lee’s win, there are also reports that he was either booed by reporters when accepting the award and that it was a shock as well.

From the Washington Post:

Venice ends on sour note with shock film choices

VENICE (Reuters) - Ang Lee has walked off with another top award at the Venice film festival, and surprised critics are wondering how he did it. “Lust, Caution” (”Se, Jie”) won the Golden Lion late on Saturday, two years after the Taiwanese director scooped the big prize for gay cowboy drama “Brokeback Mountain.”

From Reuters:

In 2005 he was a popular winner. In 2007 he was not.

Reporters and critics in the press room, watching the closing ceremony beamed live on a big screen, booed when Lee’s Golden Lion was announced, and again, more loudly, when Hollywood star Brad Pitt was named best actor.

“In all of the pre-award speculation, nobody had thought about Ang Lee’s film, not even for one of the lesser awards,” Natalia Aspesi wrote in La Repubblica newspaper on Sunday.

At a post-verdict news conference, jury president Zhang Yimou offered no explanation of the panel’s decision to give the Golden Lion to Lee’s film.

Reviews of “Lust, Caution” were generally negative, arguing that at 156 minutes it was much too long. The slow narrative, set in World War Two Shanghai, is punctuated by explicit and sometimes violent sex which Lee hinted was real.

Asians win past 6 of 10 Best Picture awards at Venice

Along with all of the other news surrounding the Venice film festival, it was noted that with Lee winning Best Picture this year, six out of the past ten recipients of the award have been Asian.

From Wikipedia: