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OCTOBER 13, 2000 VOL. 26 NO. 40 | SEARCH ASIAWEEK

No Lusty Titles, Please

Polish director Andrzej Zulawski , right, has never pandered to popular audiences, and he's not about to start now. The cinema maverick was in Hong Kong recently to promote his new film about a woman torn between an older husband and a young lover. But at his press conference, he was incensed to learn that La Fidélité was to be released under a more titillating title — Portrait of Lust. "This is very vulgar," he complained. The director immediately challenged local Hong Kong distributor Peter Tam for an explanation. A flustered Tam managed to mumble that the change was to meet local marketing concerns. That was clearly not good enough. "The worst thing you can do in life, in cinema, in whatever, is to lie," Zulawski thundered. Vulgarity doesn't translate into commercial success, declared the director, best known for his 1981 Possession. Still, Zulawski knew to turn on the charm. There was no reason Hong Kongers should require any more motivation to see his film than other audiences. His partner, French actress Sophie Marceau, who stars in the movie, echoed agreement. The chastened Tam later announced that the film would be released in Hong Kong with its original title. Hmm. But how will it do at the box-office?

Blue Notes That Raise the Spirit
Singing your troubles away is nothing new for Sheila Majid. After going through a messy divorce earlier this year, the award-winning Malaysian singer will perform at a charity concert to benefit single mothers. These women are all too often maligned by society, she says. "I'm not putting single mothers on a pedestal, but the fact that they are mothers makes them important," she adds. Supportive family and friends helped her through the tough times. Now, she hopes her concert will not only give single mothers the inspiration to go on, but the financial support to do so. "I've been there and believe me, although it may feel like it, it is not the end of the world," says Majid. "If you're in pain, take time to sort things out, but you must bounce back." And that advice hits the right note.

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