Spider Lilies  {Ci-Qing}
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Spider Lilies

Taiwan, 2007, 94 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Asian / Pacific Islander, Drama, Lesbian, Violence
Programs: Showcases, World Cinema
Language: Mandarin, Taiwanese, Japanese, English


Director Zero Chou, the talented screenwriter who brought us a drag queen Taoist priest in Splendid Float, casts her first lesbian feature with hot, soft butch Isabella Leong and steamy but vulnerable Taiwanese singer Rainie Yang. Male actors Shen Jian-hung, Shih Yuen-chieh and Kris Shie add even more eye candy to Spider Lilies, which uploads a dreamy, layered conversation among soft-porn cyber sex players (under police surveillance), the tattooed and the wanna-be-tattooed — all framed by an earthquake, absent parents, repressed memory and family guilt.
Believing that a tattoo will enhance her cyber-tease performance as a webcam girl, cutesy teenager Jade (Yang) visits the parlor owned by half-Japanese tattoo artist Takeko (Leong). The encounter awakens memories of a crush ten years earlier and ignites a seduction that unfolds via computer, countryside flashbacks and costuming accessorized with lime green wigs. Like many seductions, the lines between reality and illusion, the imagined and the forgotten, become blurred. Jade’s teasing invokes a fragile resistance in Takeko and instigates an inevitable meltdown for all involved, ultimately revealing deeper meanings — and possibilities for healing the past.
Winner of the 2007 Berlinale Teddy Award for Best Queer Feature, Spider Lilies is a trippy hybrid of traditional queer Asian tragedy and magical realism. — ELSA E’DER


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