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3D redux of 'Sex and Zen' starts shooting

1990s erotic classic takes advantage of new tech

HONG KONG – “3D Sex & Zen: Extreme Ecstasy," touted as the world’s first IMAX-3D erotic film and an update of the 1990s Hong Kong erotic classic, has commenced shooting, headed by the father-and-son team of Stephen Siu and Stephen Ding-yat Siu, Jr., as producer and executive producer, respectively, produced through their filmmaking outfit One Dollar Production. 

The IMAX-3D adaptation of the 17th century Chinese erotic literature with a HK$20 million (US$2.58 million) budget has a largely Japanese cast, starring Hong Kong-based Japanese male model Hiro Hayama and Japanese AV actresses Saori Hara and Yukiko Suo. The new version aims to bring the audience “close to the edge of the bed," producers said.

Siu Sr., who returned to the tasks of writing and producing the IMAX-3D reinvention, was responsible for the 1991 adaptation erotic classic “Sex and Zen," which grossed over HK$20 million and held the record for the highest-grossing Category III (equivalent to an NC-17 rating) film for 17 years in Hong Kong. The film was credited with launching a wave of Category III erotica in the 1990s, including its own sequels, one of which featured Taiwan actress Shu Qi, who has gone on to mainstream success in Greater China and abroad, starring with Jason Statham in "The Transporter."

The film, scheduled for May 2011 release, has been attracting the attention of distributors across Asia and Europe since the Hong Kong Filmart in March. Producer Siu Sr., who quit filmmaking in the 1990s, had decided to forsake the lucrative Chinese market to revive this conceivably dead cinematic genre in Hong Kong.