Screenwriter: Manfred Wong
Cinematographer: Manny Hoh
Cast: Dennis Tang, Camy Cheng, Eliza Yu, Endy Chow, Ken Sun
The only period film by Ho Fan is an honest retelling of the 17th-century Chinese erotic novel The Carnal Prayer Mat. A hedonistic scholar with great potential to be enlightened ignores the advice of a monk to lead a life of continence and sees it as his purpose in life to indulge in women and sex. When he leaves his wife with whom he spends day and night in their bedchamber to embark on his sexual escapades in the name of seeking knowledge in the capital city, his journey leads him to his karmic retribution. In this original version, in which the director took pride later in life, two scenes cut for a 1996 re-titled re-release are intact, completing its narrative reflecting its overarching theme and Ho’s creative intent for this aesthetically and conceptually meticulous work, a testament of his narrative and artistic maturity.