'Idiots' delves into cruelty


'The Idiots'


Grace Quek is a 27-year-old woman who, in 1995, using the pseudonym Annabel Chong (a combination of Edgar Allan Poe's "Annabel Lee" and comedian Tommy Chong), earned her 15 minutes of fame by having sex with 251 men in 10 hours - apparently a world record. Quek's sojourn to the outer limits of sex became a monster-selling video, landed her a guest spot on "The Jerry Springer Show" and even got her into a debate at Cambridge University.

She actively participated in making "Sex: The Annabel Chong Story," documentary filmmaker Gough Lewis' unflinching but ultimately unenlightening attempt at figuring out just what she was thinking. Perhaps she thought this film would offer the opportunity to explain herself. It does, but she doesn't: For all Quek's insistence that she was seeking to ennoble women by helping them gain control over their sexuality, Lewis' film shows that all Quek really wanted was be famous.

Unfortunately, why this college-educated native of Singapore chose to make a name for herself by making pornography so pornographic it shocked even the pornographers remains a mystery. Quek comes across as intelligent and articulate, but also so emotionally clueless that she can cry along with her shell-shocked mother one minute - "Sex" shows her returning to Singapore and telling her mother what she's been up to - then barter over the fee for her next porno flick the next.

Then again, considering she's already been filmed having sex with 251 guys, maybe there's nothing left to reveal.- Chris Kaltenbach

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