Local director's sequel to erotic thriller sold out at film fest
Local director's follow-up to erotic thriller is first to sell out at film festival
His adult-oriented film Lang Tong sold out at the Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) in 2014.
This year, local director Sam Loh's next film, Siew Lup, became the first of the festival's 161 films to sell out.
Siew Lup is the second in Loh's femme fatale revenge series of films, which began with Lang Tong. It follows ex-prostitute Mia (newcomer Rebecca Chen), who is trapped in a loveless marriage with roast meat seller Quan (Sunny Pang).
When Mia has an affair with funeral director Wu (Louis Wu), who takes another lover, Xuan (Melody Low), it triggers a series of violent events.
The film will be screened at SGIFF on Nov 25 at the National Museum of Singapore, and is set for a commercial release on Feb 23.
"I'm really glad my film has sold out again," said Loh, 48, in an interview with The New Paper yesterday at a media session with SGIFF's Singaporean directors.
"I think audiences are drawn to the sex and violence, but I hope they will find it entertaining as well.
"People who watched Lang Tong were very supportive to see a different kind of local film. Siew Lup has a similar style, but it is even sexier, with more action."
Siew Lup has yet to be rated, but it is expected to have an R21 rating like Lang Tong, which features a pair of sisters involved in a love triangle with a serial womaniser. The younger woman then hatches a plot to murder her sister.
While audiences may focus on his films' controversial elements, Loh is quick to point out they have a message too.
"For Siew Lup, the message is: Never underestimate the wrath of an angry woman," he said with a laugh.
"You never know what will happen if you piss them off."
Siew Lup's trailer hints at steamy bedroom scenes, and shows Mia wielding a bloody chopper and butchering cuts of what might be human flesh.
Loh had originally approached Low, 22, who rose to fame after appearing in the music video for local celebrity Tosh Zhang's Lingo Lingo, for the lead role. But he felt that her image was too soft to portray the hardened Mia.
At Low's suggestion, Loh cast 25-year-old dancer Chen, even though she lacked acting experience.
"The great thing about Rebecca is that she is very comfortable with her sexuality. We asked a lot of her, from acting to action and to bed scenes, but she did very well."
While Loh shot Lang Tong's bedroom scenes first to get the most challenging parts out of the way, Siew Lup's intimate scenes were shot last.
"It was actually the action scenes that were harder this time around," said Loh.
They included killing scenes, and a fight between the two female leads, which had to look natural "without hair pulling".
Despite its lurid premise, Loh thinks Siew Lup is ultimately a love story.
"I've always been interested to explore adultery from the female's point of view, instead of the male's," he said.
Loh took on a similar subject in local anthology 4Love, which will be screening at SGIFF on Nov 26. It also features the works of fellow directors Raihan Halim, Gilbert Chan and Daniel Yam.
His segment, Love.Temptation, is about a couple's failing marriage and the wife's subsequent affair.
As 4Love was planned as a PG film, Loh had to tone down the intimate scenes.
"Siew Lup and Love.Temptation in 4Love are very similar, because they are both ultimately love stories," he said.
"Siew Lup is just a bit different from the usual love story, because it has the visual spice of thriller elements. Both films are done in my signature style, as I am inspired by Korean thrillers like Old Boy and The Chaser."
I've always been interested to explore adultery from the female's point of view, instead of the male's.
- Director Sam Loh