Issue #201             HOME          E-mail:        BACK ISSUES             March 1st, 2004

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Shu Qi: Private & Shu Qi: True Woman


Cantonese: Wan chuen: Shu Qi se jun jap
Mandarin: Wen cun: Shu Qi xie zhen ji
English: Tender: Shu Qi True Portrait Episode

SHU QI: TRUE WOMAN (1996/99)

Cantonese: Shu Qi: True Woman
Mandarin: Shu Qi: True Woman
English: Shu Qi: True Woman




Before she achieved mainstream fame, the lovely Shu Qi appeared in some 1996 video pictorials and several releases of this material have turned up in HK, Taiwan, and South Korea (and maybe also Japan) with different packaging and titles. On top of this, the discs rarely carry English handles, making it all the more difficult to tell one from another. I decided to sample one DVD from HK and one from Taiwan for this issue but that does not even qualify as scratching the surface. Also out there are such titles as TOP SEX MODEL (Jumbo Plain; apparently now out-of-print), SHU QI: WHISPER OF THE WAVE (Visual Arts), SHU QI: BARE NAKED (City Connection), SHU QI: DREAMING NAKED SHOW (One Point), SHU KEI: VIVA! ISLAND GIRL (AVE), and two discs called VIRGIN SERIES PHOTO ALBUM (022 & 023) released by Winner's Workshop and coded for Region 3 only. From South Korea, we have SEX SEDUCTION OF SHU QI (Dae Kyeong Digital Video Disc) and SHU QI: ORIGINAL NUDE GALLERY (distributor unknown), while Ritek/Thunder Media of Taiwan contributes SHU QI PHOTO ALBUM. The prospect of hours and hours of Shu Qi wearing nothing but the wind and her come hither look is certainly appealing but I have neither the time nor (more importantly) the money to look at all of these things. There is almost certainly repeated material here and, if anyone can provide information that will help clear up what is what and which discs should be avoided, please write in. Consider it your Category III civic duty.

Stills from SHU QI: PRIVATE. Additional images: 1, 2, 3 (nudity).

As it turns out, I already had SHU QI: PRIVATE, which Mei Ah released on VCD a few years back (that disc also has no English title but the catalogue number is VCD 440). However, a comparison of it and Jei Wea's Taiwanese DVD reveals that the VCD is a different edit running 10 minutes shorter. Thus, the DVD will still be of interest to some, even though it does not look or sound much better.

Ever hear that one of your favorite stars will be posing in Playboy only to find the resulting pictorial a complete disappointment, thanks to the photographer's obliteration of any and all eroticism in his quest to present art? PRIVATE is not that annoying but between the constantly roving camera, attention deficit editing, and visual debris layered on in the name of style, one can hardly fix on an image in some segments before it has vanished into the fuzzy video ether. The various vignettes find Shu Qi posing clothed, semi-clothed, or unclothed in settings like a living room and a bathroom with a large make-up mirror, while doing things like cuddling with a headless mannequin (read into that what you will). Musical accompaniment ranges from cheesy synth to '30s Big Band to overly narcotic MOR but, as ambience goes, PRIVATE still beats Video Fireplace.

Stills from SHU QI: TRUE WOMAN. Additional images: 1, 2, 3 (nudity).

Much more satisfying, SHU QI: TRUE WOMAN features the same restless look and cutting but scales back the music video artifice a bit in favor of sunny beach sequences and other attractive, well-lit exteriors. The songs (a mix of French and English) accompanying each segment are agreeable and, after PRIVATE, it is a pleasure to be able to view Shu's angelic face and devilish body free of "artistic enhancement." As with PRIVATE, there are glimpses of full frontal nudity but neither program is as explicit as Shu's print pictorials.


The discs lack language and subtitle options but that is appropriate as there is nothing but imagery and music here (though TRUE WOMAN does feature some untranslated Chinese text). Both programs were shot on video. PRIVATE features a great deal of image manipulation (grain, solarization, etc), making an evaluation difficult. However, some of the fuzziness and jagged edges are almost certainly the result of either a substandard PAL conversion or multi-generational dubbing of the master. Occasional tape glitches and dropouts can be detected. TRUE WOMAN is sharper and decidedly more attractive, with vibrant hues and no master damage. Unfortunately, as can be seen from the grabs, it also features a logo in the upper left hand corner from beginning to end. The DVDs boast passable stereo mixes and TRUE WOMAN also includes WideSight's usual over extended 5.1 re-mix. PRIVATE has no chapter screen or insert guide but does offer a "still gallery" consisting of ten tiny pictures on a single screen; each can be highlighted and enlarged. TRUE WOMAN has no extras and carries the Category II symbol on the package but said rating does not appear on the certificate, so this is probably inaccurate. WideSight went out of business last year, meaning that TRUE WOMAN will likely become increasingly scarce until it is (inevitably) re-issued by another company.

Stills from SHU QI: PRIVATE (top) and SHU QI: TRUE WOMAN (bottom).

These DVDs are available at:

Images in this review courtesy of Jei Wea (SHU QI: PRIVATE) and Widesight (SHU QI: TRUE WOMAN).

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Copyright © John Charles 2000 - 2004. All Rights Reserved.


DVD Specifications

  • Taiwan Release
  • NTSC -- Region 0
  • Jei Wea Co. #DVD-555
  • Dolby Digital 2.0
  • 5 Chapters
  • 4:3 (Multi-Ratio but mostly 1.33:1)
  • 46 Minutes

Ratings & Consumer Information

  • Hong Kong: III
  • Contains nudity throughout


DVD Specifications

  • Hong Kong Release
  • NTSC -- Region 0
  • WideSight Entertainment #WSDVD 1055
  • Dolby Digital 5.1 & 2.0
  • 6 Chapters
  • 4:3 (1.33:1)
  • 52 Minutes

Ratings & Consumer Information

  • Ratings Information Not Available
  • Contains nudity throughout


  • 10 A Masterpiece
  • 9 Excellent
  • 8 Highly Recommended
  • 7 Very Good
  • 6 Recommended
  • 5 Marginal Recommendation
  • 4 Not Recommended
  • 3 Poor
  • 2 Definitely Not Recommended
  • 1 Dreadful