Colour Blossoms (桃色, Toh sik) is a 2004 Hong Kong art film written and directed by Yonfan, and the third in an informal trilogy of films inspired by Tang Xianzu''s The Peony Pavilion. The original Chinese title of Colour Blossoms literally translates as "Peach Colour", a euphemism for sexual desire, one of the central themes in the film.
Yonfan began writing the script for Colour Blossoms in Venice, following the screening of his previous film, Breaking the Willow, at the Venice Film Festival. He had all three lead actresses in mind from the outset, in particular longtime friend Teresa Cheung for the part of Meili. Despite being a Hong Kong production, the cast and crew of the film came from a number of Asian countries, with actors from Japan (Matsuzaka and Yokouchi) and Korea (Harisu), and a filmmaking crew from mainland China, led by cinematographer Wang Yu. For the film''s score Yonfan travelled personally to India to find a local composer, eventually hiring the talents of Surender Sodhi, a veteran of the Indian film industry.
Although Colour Blossoms had initially been planned as a low budget production, the actual cost ran to HK$10 million. It was largely funded by Yonfan himself, but financing problems resulted in an extended filming period of 13 months. The film had difficulty attracting potential investors due to its risqué subject matter, and a number of local actors had also been dissuaded from participating by their agents.
Teresa Cheung as Meili. Yonfan has stated that Cheung was his inspiration for the film, although the character was not directly based on her personality. A first time actress, Cheung was initially reluctant to perform the nude and sexual scenes, but has defended the film''s artistic qualities.
Keiko Matsuzaka as Madam Umeki. Regarded by Yonfan as one of his cinematic idols, Matsuzaka has said that Colour Blossoms was her most demanding film.
Harisu as young Madam Umeki. Like the character she plays in the film, Harisu is also transgendered.
Carl Ng as 4708. Ng was originally approached to play the role of Kim, but after reading the script "fell in love with the cop 4708". The character has no dialogue in the film, instead relying on gestures and movement, something Ng recognized as a challenge.
Sho Yokouchi as Kim. A former male model with no previous acting experience, Yokouchi had great difficulty with the film, admitting that he "just couldn''t grasp the meaning." As a result he has since stated that he will never make another film, believing he is not suited to the work. Credited in the film as Sho.
Her name is Beautiful
by flingebunt (Harbin, China)
It is an art-house films are not mainstream because they will only have a limited audience. Maybe you will like it and maybe you won''t.
Movies about sex tend to have very polarised appeal. They are either loved or boring, depending on where you are in your own sexual landscape.
In a similar vein to 2046 and In the mood for love, this movie takes place mostly inside a limited number of interiors (though it also brilliantly uses Hong Kong''s claustrophobic exteriors for the same effect.
Mei Li means beautiful in Chinese (or at least Mei means beautiful, Li, I am not sure about). She lives in a world of sexual fantasy involving an older Japanese woman (call me Madam) and the handsome Kim (I assume he is meant to be Korean).
Sex and attraction becomes a matter landscapes, both in the contrast between various buildings and the different languages each person speaks. These seem to represent the different realities of people. Reality and fantasy and interleaved without seams, present and past join hands, men become woman, masters become slaves, the living die and the dead are resurrected.
Only Americans write books and make movies about sex, where no one has sex....so obviously there is plenty of sexy parts, but all in context, and to a mostly good soundtrack.
Take the risk, because maybe you will think it is garbage, but then you can always just for and rent Batman Begins again.