3D films have certainly come a long way since the 1950s, when the green-and-red plastic glasses where used to watch only parts of movies done in 3D. Another thing those 1950s flicks had was much tamer content. No one would dream of watching erotic films in 3D – and now you don’t have to dream either, because the first erotic 3D film Sex and Zen is nearing its North American and UK release in August.
The film’s opening in Hong Kong beat out the opening day grosses for Avatar and Titanic. This epic production, starring Japanese adult film idols, is based on the classical novel The Carnal Prayer Mat, depicting the sexual exploits of a young Ming Dynasty scholar. Sex and Zen is produced by China Lion Distribution, which has deals with major US cinemas for the distribution of Asian films in North America and is pioneering its expansion into the UK market.
It’s interesting to see this film emerge among increasing talk of the need to have more ethnically diverse cinema available at a wider range to the mainstream market. This release is definitely a step forward in terms of reaching a wide mainstream audience. However, is it a step forward for the representation of visible minorities on the silver screen, considering the genre and nature of the film?
Personally I’m curious to see what types of excuses North American viewers, often prone to needing logical justifications of their actions, will have for going to watch this one. I can already hear some planning to watch it for ‘ethnographical research’ and others laughing it off as a joke.