Viva Erotica (1996)

December 3, 2003 • Film, Reviews

vivaerotica1A sexy, scathing look at the Hong Kong film industry, VIVA details the making of a Category III adult film by an out of work film director and his gangster producer.

Co-directors Derek Yee Tung Sing (Full Throttle, C’est La Vie Mon Cherie, ) and Law Chi Leung (Double Tap) tackle the politics of Hong Kong filmmaking in this funny, well crafted, award winning film. Rife with inside jokes about the Hong Kong film industry, Viva Erotica attempts, quite overtly, to expose and ridicule what ails the industry. From triad producers, to pirated VCD’s, to the American commercialization of recent productions, as well as holding up a mirror to HK audiences.


“Following up on his acclaimed work Full Throttle, Derek Yee Tung-sing made the unusual move of not only collaborating with movie industry unknown Law Chi-leung, but also to make a Category III sex comedy. After a string of commercial flops, art house director Sing (Leslie Cheung) resorts to making a softcore film called Viva Erotica in order to pay the bills. His gangster producer, Chung (Law Kar-ying), insists that Sing cast his beautiful, though talentless, girlfriend Mango (Shu Qi) in the lead role. As Sing wrestles with his desire to make this film something more than a cheap porn flick, he also wrestles with his desire for Miss Mango. Meanwhile, Sing’s girlfriend, May (Karen Mok), is having a fit over her boyfriend’s new project and his sudden lack of passion at home.”
—Jonathan Crow, All Movie Guide

“At times, Viva Erotica seems precisely like the soft-core sex flicks it’s trying to skewer, but overall it’s not a bad little import.”
—Scott Weinberg,

“The main emphasis of this film is clearly the Hong Kong film industry, in all its colourful glory.”
— Alison Jobling, Heroic Cinema

Director: Derek Yee Tung-Sing, Law Chi-Leung
Script: Derek Yee Tung-Sing, Law Chi-Leung
Producer: Raymond Chow Man-Wai
Cinematographer: Jingle Ma Cho-Shing
Music: Clarence Hui Yuen

Leslie Cheung Kwok-Wing, Hsu Chi (Shu Kei), Karen Mok Man-Wai, Law Kar-Ying, Elvis Tsui Kam-Kong, Alan Ting Chi-Chun, Lau Ching-Wan, Anthony Wong Chau-Sang

Country: Hong Kong
Language: Cantonese
Running Time: 99 min


• Winnner, 16th Annual Hong Kong Film Awards: Best Supporting Actress (Shu Qi); Best New Artist (Shu Qi)

• Nominee, 16th Annual Hong Kong Film Awards: Best Picture; Best Director (Derek Yee Tung-Sing, Law Chi-Leung); Best Actor (Leslie Cheung); Best Supporting Actor (Elvis Tsui Kam-Kong); Best Original Film Score (Clarence Hui Yuen, Chiu Jun-Fun, Lau Cho-Tak); Best Original Song (“Sik Ching Nam Nui”)

• Nominated, Berlin International Film Festival, Golden Berlin Bear

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