STOP10 Mar 2017: 'Lang Tong' 靓汤 by Sam Loh

Director Sam Loh is busy selling Char Siew these with his latest erotic thriller Siew Lup 烧腊 sizzling up cinemas islandwide. But before selling Char Siew, Sam was serving up wicked bowls of delicious soup with Lang Tong 靓汤, the predecessor to Siew Lup. If you have not tried Sam’s ‘Chicken soup for the tainted soul’, here’s your chance. Lang Tong will be screened by *SCAPE as part of the *SCAPEmedia Spotlight feature on Sam Loh - ‘Sam Loh: from Kids Central to Lang Tong, making films as an Outsider’ (What a long event title!).

Lang Tong is arguably Singapore's first commercial R21 movie with sexual content and attempt at the erotic thriller genre. No other commercial feature film in Singapore has grazed this fine line between pornography and narrative action. Maybe not a fine line, after all, it had a legitimate storyline. But still, it was a risk taken for the potential controversies it would court with the moral police among decision makers in our civil service. And that risk paid off. Premiering to a full-house audience at the 25th Singapore International Film Festival in 2014, it had a subsequent commercial release the following year with the help of mm2 Entertainment.

In the film, Zack (played by William Lawandi), a remorseless serial womanizer and con-man meets his match in Li Ling (Vivienne Tseng), an alluring and well-to-do woman who makes a wicked bowl of pork rib soup. Things take an unexpected turn when Zack begins an affair with Li Ling's younger sister Li Er. Soon, Li Er convinces Zack to help her execute a heinous plot to murder her older sister, whom she blames for causing her mother's death. However, things are not as simple as they seem.

In our ‘Production Talk’ series interview with Sam Loh in 2015, he recounts his uphill task of finding actresses who would want to be in the film due to the explicit sex. Having completed the script about 7-8 years ago, Sam spoke to numerous actresses and most turned him down. This was until his actor Alan Tan introduced him to Angeline Yap, who took the leap of faith and decided to give the role a try. Read the full interview here.

Also read our review of Lang Tong here which we rated Bak-Kut-Tehlicious.

Director Sam Loh has cleverly placed equally ample baits for both genders to watch his first feature film Lang Tong. Touted as Singapore’s first commercial R21 movie, it features enough boobs to make guys say ‘yes, this is no lightweight Singaporean attempt at something risqué’. It also features enough female smarts to girls feel winners in the battle of the sexes. At the very best, this film knows just how to press the right buttons for a dirty little adventure. At the very worst, it is simply jogging an old formula, offering a story that’s essentially empty at its core…....

Here are details of the screening event, jointly organised by *SCAPE and The Filmic Eye.

Date: 3 March 2017
Time: 7.30pm to 10pm
Venue: SCAPE Gallery
Admission Fee: $5
Rating: R21 (Please note that organisers have the right to check your identification upon entry)
Please get your tickets from Peatix at this link.

The screening is followed by a dialogue with Sam Loh in person. Tap into Sam’s memories of his journey as a filmmaker. Sam built his career from years of television directing. His works display a formidable genre range. They include Channel 5 dramas like Lions Mums and In Cold Blood, Channel 8 dramas like C.L.I.F 4 and Dream Coders, 9 Lives on Suria and even Kids Central! Learn about how he toggles (pardon the pun, Mediacorp!) between the PG family man personality to the R21 devil within. Find out what happened to his debut independent feature Outsiders, which he withdrew from the 2004 Singapore International Film Festival, following MDA’s requirement of several cuts to the film. The film has still not been publicly screened in Singapore so far.
About Sam Loh

Sam Loh has more than 18 years of film directing experience. He began his career at Caldecott Productions directing TV commercials. Currently, he is a freelance film director who works regularly with prominent production houses that produced dramas and programs for MediaCorp. He started Outsider Pictures to make independent and original movie content for the local and international market. Lang Tong 靓汤 – his R21 Chinese independent movie was well received and had a sold out screening at the 2014 Singapore International Film Festival. It was also screened commercially at all local cinemas in March 2015. Siew Lup 烧腊 – his follow up to Lang Tong and part of his femme fatale trilogy was also the first film to sold out at the 2016 Singapore International Film Festival. Its general theatrical release was on 23 February 2017.

Written by Jeremy Sing

For the full list of March 2017's 10 films under STOP10, click here.

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