This mockumentary fails in most respects due to the poor caliber of acting, but it is funny in places and kind of erotic, too. It’s not a masterpiece like “Hacks,” but it is entertaining in its own weird way.
The focus here is on Han Sum (G.R. Claveria), a short Asian man whose rise to fame started with stripping and progressed to pornography and modeling. He made one adult film, “Measuring Up: The Erotic Way of the Samurai,” before disappearing from the public’s eye. That one movie, however, made such an impression on people that a fan club sprang up, and protesters (one of the weakest parts of the film) went after his modeling status because he was short and therefore not “perfect.” People like Seymour Butts and Kaila Yu are interviewed, which lends this film an air of authenticity, but it still plays as more of a comedy than anything else.
“A Study in the Orientation of Han Sum” could have really been a wreck if it weren’t so darn interesting. Writer/director G.R. Claveria put a lot of work into this and made a story that really could be believable on the surface. (Again, the illusion is shattered only because of the actors’ lack of skill in places.) He has tapped into that special something that surrounds adult film stars and has run with it. People are fascinated by people who have sex on film, and that’s something the director understands very well.
This is Claveria’s first feature-length film, but I suspect it won’t be his last. I also suspect it won’t be his last mockumentary, either. He has a talent for creating situations that are absurd enough to be real. Now all he has to do is find better actors, and he’ll be making film history.