Lost Indulgence

Lost Indulgence (Chinese: 秘岸; pinyin: mì àn) (also known as Lost, Indulgence or Lost·Indulgence) is a 2008 Chinese film directed by Zhang Yibai and written by Zhao Tianyu. Like Zhang's earlier film, Curiosity Kills the Cat, Lost Indulgence takes place in the central Chinese city of Chongqing.[1]

Lost Indulgence
Directed byZhang Yibai
Produced byTsui Siu-Ming
Amy Li
Zhang Yibai
Written byZhao Tianyu
StarringKaren Mok
Tan Jianci
Jiang Wenli
Eric Tsang
Eason Chan
CinematographyWang Yu
Edited byKong Jinglei
Distributed bySundream Motion Pictures
Release date
Running time
104 minutes
CountryChina
LanguageMandarin

The film is a family drama about the relationship between a mother and son (Jiang Wenli and Tan Jianci) after the sudden death of the father (Eric Tsang).

Lost Indulgence navigated a complicated series of schedules and cancellations before it was allowed to screen abroad, at the Tribeca Film Festival in April 2008.

Plot

Upon the apparent death of his taxi-driver father (Eric Tseng), Xian-chuen (Tan Jianci) and his mother Li (Jiang Wenli) take in his father's last fare, Su-Dan (Karen Mok), a bar girl, to fulfill the family's obligations. The father, Wu Tao drove his cab into the Yangtze River, breaking Su-Dan's leg and potentially paralyzing her for life, though his body was not recovered.

The son, a bereaved and sullen teenager, does not take to the crippled Su-Dan at first, his thoughts preoccupied with a school crush and the sudden death of his father. As time goes on, however he warms to her presence (and her ever-exposed legs). Su-Dan, restricted to a wheelchair sees the boy as a substitute little brother.

Meanwhile, Li, who works as a medic at a factory, is forced to work double shifts at a veterinarian hospital to help make ends meet. There she meets a handsome stranger (Eason Chan) who brings in his injured dog, and a tentative romance begins to form.

Cast

  • Jiang Wenli as Li, the mother in the family. She takes on her husband's last passenger before his death.
  • Tan Jianci as Xian-chuen, Li and Wu Tao's sullen teenage son.
  • Eric Tseng as the father, Wu Tao, a taxi-driver, Li's husband and Xian-chuen's father, early in the film he is killed when his taxi plunges off a bridge into a river.
  • Karen Mok as Su-Dan, a crippled bar girl who was Li's husband's last passenger.
  • Eason Chan

Release

Lost Indulgence navigated a complicated series of schedules and cancellations before it was allowed to screen abroad. Originally scheduled to premiere at the 2008 Hong Kong International Film Festival, the film was pulled at the last moment by its producers due to failure to gain Chinese censor approval.[2] For many in the industry, the decision to withdraw the film was fallout from the decision by the State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television to ban director Lou Ye and producer Nai An for improperly screening their 2006 film Summer Palace at the Cannes Film Festival without permission.[2] Others saw the heightened concern as a result of public criticism and controversy surrounding Ang Lee's sexually explicit Lust, Caution and Feng Xiaogang's allegorical war story Assembly.[3] The withdrawal of the film was also seen as a sign of the growing influence that the Chinese Film Bureau has had on Hong Kong productions (or in this case co-productions).[2]

Lost Indulgence missed a second scheduled screening at the Udine East Asian Film Festival, when a screening was again canceled due to failure to obtain official permission.[3] Upon this second cancellation, critics speculated that producers were taking extra care before the Olympics rather than seeing the delays as a clear cut case of censorship.[3]

Despite these setback, the film eventually did get its international premiere at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival on April 25, 2008.[4]

Critical reception

The film opened to mixed reviews.

Perry Lam of Muse Magazine called the movie 'an object lesson in how bad casting can skew a movie irredeemably.'[5]

References

  1. Scheib, Ronnie (2008-05-12). "Lost Indulgence Review". Variety. Retrieved 2008-12-18.
  2. Agencies (2008-03-28). "Reel News". Taipei Times. Retrieved 2008-12-19.
  3. Möller, Olaf (April 2008). "Of Common Happiness and Sorrow: The 10th Udine Film Festival". Senses of Cinema. Archived from the original on 2008-12-16. Retrieved 2008-12-19.
  4. "Tribeca Film - 08 Film Guide - Lost·Indulgence". Tribeca Film Festival. Retrieved 2008-12-18.
  5. Lam, Perry (October 2008). "Lost in translation". Muse Magazine (21): 103.
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