SCUD: “I used to live precariously, harboring latent signs of DEPRESSION. Those were dark periods where I cannot plan or work. I was fighting my inner demons. Departures of loved ones fueled painful feelings of loss. I therefore decided to make my “VOYAGE”遊 film project addressing how mental angst can wreck a person’s life.”
“Stop rejecting new relationships just because old ones didn’t work. – In life you’ll realize that there is a purpose for everyone you meet. Some will test you, some will use you and some will teach you. But most importantly, some will bring out the best in you.“
7. We understand you are planning to take a break after Voyage comes out. So what are your plans?
“Voyage” had been an exhaustive experience for the whole team and that’s why I fancied a break, but then I shot another film “Utopians” last winter and we’re reach the end of post production. Film making is like our mission and the only way is keep doing it. As we become more fluent in production, the distribution become a major bottleneck.
8. Permanent Residence & Amphetamine are understood to be part of a trilogy (Wikipedia), which is to be completed with The Life of an Artist. Is that going to be put on the back burner now that you are planning a hiatus? What are your plans and hopes for the third film?
Believe it or not, there have been quite a few friends and fans suggesting to me that, they felt “Life of an Artist” would be my last film, so I should defer making it as much as possible! Somehow I feel the same, so on our drawing board there’re at least 3 films to come preceding it. “Utopians”, meanwhile, can be perceived a prelude to “Artist”.
9. Your previous films have run into problems with Hong Kong’s and China’s censorship boards. Considering the themes of nudity, violence and sex in those films, it can’t have been completely unexpected. The restrictions however, are much more open in Europe. Do you consider Europe to be a potential market commercially for Asian films like yours? How well have they done so far (in Europe)?
Europe is already the biggest market of our films since “Amphetamine”. The distributor there actually launched a trilogy box set for my first 3 films, way before Hong Kong and Taiwan. We’re also hopeful for American since “Love actually…sucks!” was taken up there and the Chicago award. I am embracing the prospect of some of my future films (including “Utopians” which features some scenes unprecedented) being banned altogether in the Chinese territories.
10. What do you think can be done to ease the restrictions that you faced in China and Hong Kong? Or do you plan to direct your films to fit the censors?
You know my answer to this. I’ll never mend my work to suit any censors in the world and I’m not in the capacity to change them. If they evolve to be more liberal, so much the better, and I’ll love to think my films have been good influence and catalyst. If not, I’m comfortable to remain an outsider or misfit to their mainstream.
11. Over the years, you have worked with some actors (and crew) over multiple films. Which of these do you find to be crucial to how you make and portray your films?
I like almost every artist I’ve worked with, Herman Yau, Charlie Lam, Yu Yat Yiu, William Chang, Irving Cheung, Ho Shan…just to name a few, and many more fabulous actors like Osman Hung, Byron Pang, Thomas Price, Linda So, Christepher Wee, Leni Speidel, Ryo van Kooten, Sebastian Castro, Susan Siu Yam Yam…the list can go on forever. The most crucial to me, however, is my crew that I’ve built over years. They’ll prove to be a major asset to our future successes.
12. Your films seem to explore frequently a darker side of human nature and relationships. What do you think fascinates you most about these kinds of stories? Will you ever consider doing something on a lighter vein?
I am not fascinated by them. I am just too well versed so they become essence of my early works, and the sadism may have reached a climax in “Voyage”.
“Utopians”, however, is an about turn in many senses. It is humorous, philosophical, almost a comedy, with touches of religion and politics, incredibly shamelessly sexy. However, I can’t say that’s a direction, for my audiences should expect me to have my signature in all my work, while each should have new inspirations.
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