Pleasure Factory

A shoddy Singapore-set HD product masquerading as a meller-cum-social expose.

With:
With: Yang Kuei-Mei, Ananda Everingham, Loo Zihan, Xu Er, Katashi Chen, Isabella Chen, Jeszlene Devon Zhow, Ian Francis Low.

Neither sexual nor audience satisfaction is guaranteed in “Pleasure Factory” a shoddy Singapore-set HD product masquerading as a meller-cum-social expose. Follow-up to “Beautiful Boxer” by the island state’s Thai director Ekachai Uekrongtham, pic takes a peek at Singapore’s seedy prostitution scene. Making Herman Yau’s recent dreadful Hong Kong film on a similar subject, “Whispers and Moans” looks like a narrative masterpiece by comparison, this pic borders on the inept. Clout of distrib Fortissimo will see this effort arrive at fest assembly line but export elsewhere is unlikely. Homoerotic elements will make domestic release nearly impossible.

Multiple sparse, barely sketched anecdotes set in and around the alleyways of Singapore’s Geylang red-light district reveal that prostitution is not as glamorous as it might seem. Thesps, looking amateurish and stranded with nothing and no one to guide them, give tentative perfs. Clumsy helming suggests Uekrongtham has yet to transcend his legit origins. Some docu inserts are superfluous. HD lensing is grainy and poorly lit. Camerawork is as erratically indecisive as the characters it is shooting. Like many Asian indie HD efforts, sound is generally of poor quality and is frequently mismatched within scenes.

Pleasure Factory

Singapoire-Thailand-Netherlands

Production: A Spicy Apple Films (Singapore), Fortissimo Films (Netherlands), Innoform Media (Singapore) presentation of a Spicy Apple Films production. (International sales: Fortissimo Films, Amsterdam.) Produced by Ekachul Uekrongtham. Co-producers, Wouter Barendrecht, Michael J. Werner, Lim Teck. Directed, written by Ekachai Uekrongtham.

Crew: Camera (color, HD to 35mm), Brian Gothong Tan; editor, Tan; music, Bruno Brugnano; production designer, Magdalene Sim. Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival (Un Certain Regard), May 23, 2007. Original title: Kuaile Gongchang. Mandarin, English dialogue. Running time: 88 MIN.

With: With: Yang Kuei-Mei, Ananda Everingham, Loo Zihan, Xu Er, Katashi Chen, Isabella Chen, Jeszlene Devon Zhow, Ian Francis Low.

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