Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sexing things up at the movies - Local filmmakers tend to inject steamy and controversial scenes in their movies to draw in a bigger audience. But does this tactic work? Read more: Sexing things up at the movies

Aku Masih Dara

SEX scenes in local movies are usually very tame, just enough to create a little controversy and boost ticket sales.

In 2006, a controversial scene involving Farid Kamil and Julia Hana in bed not only sparked controversy but helped the film Remp-It, directed by Ahmad Idham Admad Nazri, to rake in RM4 million at the box office.

In 2008, James Lee's horror film Histeria showed a brief lesbian kissing scene between Nurliana Samsuddin and Scha Al-Yahya. That set tongues wagging and the movie made RM3 million.

The next year, Syamsul Yusof's controversial film, Bohsia Jangan Pilih Jalan Hitam, collected a handsome RM4 million at the box office.

Since then, local film producers are continuing to include such scenes in their movies. This adds "spice" to their movies and they hope that people will come in droves to watch it.

In some cases, such gimmicks work. Mantra and Aku Masih Dara were box-office hits last year, taking in RM3 million and RM2 million, respectively. In Mantra, there was a shot of male nudity while in Aku Masih Dara, the lead characters were always in skimpy clothes.

But most times, this tactic falls flat. Jalang (2009) was not only controversial for its title, but also its bedroom scenes. The controversial scenes were included in the film's trailer to entice the audience. Jalang instantly became the talk of the town but it only collected RM670,000.

Last year, another controversial film, 2 Alam, also featured sexy bedroom scenes in its trailer, which got people and those in the industry talking. The film made a paltry RM440,000.

Film producer Raja Azmi Raja Sulaiman took it to the next level in ...Dalam Botol.

The film, which focused on homosexuality, raised eyebrows even before shooting started as the producer announced that "there will be male nudity and intimate scenes between two guys" in the film. Unfortunately, it only collected RM600,000 despite the attention it received from the media.

Recently, two films -- Klip 3GP and Abuya -- tried to get the audience excited by including steamy scenes in the films' trailers. In Klip 3GP's trailer, movie-goers were shown sexy shots of its leading actress Mimie of One Nation MC, including one bedroom scene.

In Abuya, the trailer featured bedroom scenes and two women on the verge of intimacy.

Despite the brouhaha, Klip 3GP only collected RM1 million while Abuya, which is still playing in cinemas, has so far only collected RM210,000.

Klip 3GP is about the danger of secretly recording other people using a handphone while Abuya is about a leader of an extremist group.

On Dec 8, comedy movie Datin Ghairah will open nationwide. The film features Maria Farida in the lead and Aaron Aziz as her sparring partner. The film's trailer shows Maria gyrating her body to music.

But will this make people interested enough to want to catch the movie?

A local film producer who declined to be named said: "Today's audiences are not easily fooled. They don't watch a movie just because the film has sexy scenes."

The producer said people could easily watch "extreme scenes" on the Internet. In fact, he said in many cases, such scenes only turned off the audience.

"There is no doubt that sex sells but it should not be the main thing."

In the end, what's always most important is the storyline.

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