Monday, April 5, 2010
A Legendary Woman: Tina Ti (1945-2010)
A legendary woman (奇女子): that's what they called Tina. And lest you think the title was only on account of her magnanimous bosom, check out this article. Did you know that she worked as a spy for the People's Republic of China!
If the stories in the article are true, then Tina Ti indeed lived an extraordinary life. However, I must take task with the statement that she was the first Hong Kong actress to appear nude (in Li Han-hsiang's The Warlord).
To the best of my knowledge, that particular honor goes to the incomparable Fanny Fan. She bared her booty on the silver screen in The Golden Buddha (1966) a full six years before Tina. Furthermore, in Diary of a Lady-Killer (1969) which stars both bombshells while Tina stands around with her arms modestly covering her breasts, it's Fanny who reveals her "points" in a steamy shower scene with Ivy Ling Po's husband Chin Han.
As for Tina's notorious scene in The Warlord (1972), according to her it was unscripted and director Li Han-hsiang filmed more than he promised sneaking that shot of Tina's backside with a hidden camera. Contrast this with Fanny's scene in The Golden Buddha, where she stands totally naked with her back to the camera and then turns her head and throws a smile to the audience, as if to say: "Look at me, boys!"
Of course, none of this detracts from Tina's status as a sex goddess. But remember: before Tina, there was Fanny.
Even though I obviously don't worship at the Temple of Tina, I'm still a fan, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that, in the wake of her passing, Celestial Pictures will consider releasing the erotic thriller Dark Rendezvous (1969), which features her in a special cameo.
Rest in peace, Tina. Long live your legend!
Tina Ti and Ling Yun in Dark Rendezvous