Shanghai-set 'Dangerous Liaisons' seduces Cannes

24 May 2012
Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi
Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi is pictured in 2010. Take a timeless French classic, "Dangerous Liaisons", and whisk it to 1930s Shanghai: a South Korean director pulled off the unlikely stunt in Cannes on Thursday

Take a timeless French classic, "Dangerous Liaisons", and whisk it to 1930s Shanghai: a South Korean director pulled off the unlikely stunt in Cannes on Thursday.

"It's a delightful reworking of 'Dangerous Liaisons', a cruel fable with two wonderful actresses," said Edouard Waintrop who picked the selection at the Directors' Fortnight sidebar section of the festival.

The classic 18th-century epistolary novel by Choderlos de Laclos tells the story of two ex-lovers, the Marquise de Merteuil and the Vicomte de Valmont, who use sex as a weapon to humiliate others in a perverse form of rivalry.

But their cruel games hit a rock when the marquise dares Valmont to seduce a deeply virtuous widow, named Madame de Tourvel.

The marquise, renamed Madam Mo, is played by Hong-Kong actress Cecilia Cheung, opposite Zhang Ziyi -- who starred in "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" -- as de Tourvel.

Korean director Hur Jin-ho set the Chinese-language film in a sumptuously recreated interwar Shanghai, where the Valmont character -- renamed Xie Yifan and played by South Korea's Jang Dong-gun -- works his way from bedroom to opulent bedroom.

The director said he was contacted by Chinese producers three years ago for the project.

"My Chinese is not very good, but the subject interests me so much that I found the courage to overcome the language barrier," he said after the first screening of the film in Cannes.

What to read next

15 Cancer Causing Foods You Probably Eat Every Day

Do you eat any of these cancer causing foods? Number 12 will surprise you. Check out the list now.

Many Homeowners Are Getting a Huge Reward in 2016.

If you have not missed a payment in 3 years you need to see this. Banks feel cheated by brilliant home pay off plan.

The Newly Refined 2016 Mazda CX-5

With the 2016 Mazda CX-5, you don't have to compromise performance or style. Come by and drive a new Mazda CX-5 to experience the magic today!

Already Have Your Bachelor's Degree?

Learn more about earning your master's or doctoral degree from Walden University. Study online and further your career. Request free information!

7 Tricks To Get The Most Out Of Home Alarm Systems

Here are a few things your alarm system can do for you, and some ways you can help your alarm system provide protection.

Hilton HHonors™ Card

Apply Today! Earn 50,000 Hilton HHonors™ Bonus Points. Terms Apply.