Stills of "Spider Lilies"
(Courtesy from Encore Films)
In Mandarin with English and Chinese Subtitles
Genre: Drama/Romance Director: Zero Chou Cast: Isabella Leong, Rainie Yang, Shen Jian-Hung,
Kris Shie, Shih Yuen-Chieh RunTime:
1 hr 34 mins Released By: Cathay-Keris Films and Encore
Films Rating: R21 (Some Homosexual Content) Official Website:www.encorefilms.com/spiderlilies
Takeko keeps a framed design of the spider lily flower on
the wall of her tattoo parlor. The design was literally cut
from the flesh of her father, after he was crushed to death
in an earthquake. The image of the spider lily tattoo is the
last cohesive memory of Takeko's traumatized brother, Ching,
who is no longer able to recognize anyone, including his sister.
Takeko has the same tattoo of the poisonous flower on her
body in the hope of helping Ching remember and bridging the
gap between them.
girl Jade visits Takeko's tattoo parlor, looking for sexy
decoration to excite her clientele. Entranced by the tattoo
of the spider lily on the wall, Jade gives Takeko her business
card and invites her to visit her on her website where she
professes her love for the tattoo artist. Finally, jade asks
Takeko to give her the same spider lily tattoo to bring her
closer to the object of her desire.
For some reason, there are more gay films out there compared
to lesbian ones.
in recent memory, we recall a number of kissing scenes (between
its female characters) in Stephen Daldry’s theatrical
release of The Hours (2002) landing on the editing room floor
when we knew that Taiwanese cutie pie Rainie Yang and Macau-born
exotic beauty Isabella Leong are teaming up for an uncut version
of a lesbian-themed movie, how can any hot-blooded male reviewer
resist the chance to experience their sizzling chemistry on
the big screen?
plays an Internet web-cam girl (of all occupations, the filmmakers
had to choose something this titillating) who leads a somewhat
unfulfilled life by teasing men online. Leong plays a tattoo
artist who has a traumatic past. The two girls’ lives
cross when they meet at the tattoo parlor, and things take
on a new course.
is nothing much to complain about the acting from the two
leads here. It is a spot-on decision by choosing Yang to play
a seductive cutie-pie - the pop singer is not given the title
“Cutie Ruler” for nothing. The 23-year-old has
come a long way since her supporting role as a bakery shop
employee in the 2001 hit TV series Meteor Garden starring
the pretty Taiwanese boy-band F4.
we have Leong who has impressed us with her moving performance
in Pang Ho-Cheung’s award-winning Isabella (2006). Here,
the 28-year-old starlet plays her character with conviction
and sincerity, making another milestone in her acting career.
titular spider lilies are flowers which symbolize pathways
to hell, and the memory-losing poison of the flowers anchors
the film’s central theme of memories and what vulnerable
human beings make of them.
lesbian director Zero Chou explores the subject matter of
love and loss with a certain lyrical delicacy that art film
fans will adore. Her understated approach at tackling the
universal topic will make you think about the last time you
felt the true emotion of love.
fact, this idea is explored so well that it won Chou the Teddy
Award at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival.
However, the film does attempt to tackle too many stories
at one go, making them feel somewhat patchy. There is the
story between the two girls, there is the story between Yang
and a shy policeman, there is the story between Leong and
her sick brother, there is the story of a pseudo-macho gangster
who seeks solace by having countless tattoos, and a whole
lot of other flashback sequences which may leave the impatient
Chou also knows how to please her audience in this accessible
94-minute picture. Her previous work Splendid Float (2004)
was a colorful film about a group of drag queen performers,
and she puts that visual flair into her latest work. The attention
to details and colors is superbly intricate, with the best
parts of the movie being the flashback scenes shot in the
looking for some kinky action may be disappointed here, because
there aren’t much of the girls to peek at. Given its
R21 rating and “some homosexual content” consumer
advice, the naughtier viewers may not find what they are looking
they will find, instead, is a touching story about, as cliché
as it is: love and memories.
expressively delicate portrayal of affection and memories
that reminds you of the times you truly fell in love)