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2005.02.17

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Darren

Thanks for the review. I was wondering if this was going to be the porn film that Tsai talked about soon after What Time is it There? was released. Hopefully it will play at the San Francisco festival at the end of April. Otherwise, I probably won't get a chance to see it until its released on home format. With DVD in hand, I'm finally going to see The Skywalk is Gone and Goodbye, Dragon Inn today.

Adam

When I saw the stills in DER SPIEGEL and saw the Rockettes-y like dancers around that huge, uhm, statue of symbolism, I knew this film was going to be pretty wild. This being Cheney/Bush America, I doubt we'll get a chance to see this during their term. But, then again, INSIDE DEEP THROAT is playing right now, so maybe I will be able to see it as an opportunity for the their peeps to write my name down on some list as I enter the theater to watch such 'sinful' fare.

Dave

This sounds like this is a good direction that Tsai is taking...but then I'm a sucker for this kind of arthouse shockers. Can't wait to find out if this nasty ending can top The River. :)

Wayne

A stream of Tsai Ming-Liang's press conference for The Wayward Cloud (with translation into English) can be accessed via this page

la_depressionada

Disgusting? Sexist? Vile? Deal me in.

david hume

Sense and sensuality

http://www.etaiwannews.com/Peolpes/2005/02/18/1108699760.htm

Art-house master Tsai Ming-liang discusses his new movie 'The Wayward Cloud,' and his philosophies in a moody, existential interview

2005-02-18 / Taiwan News,

Contributing Writer /

By Andrew Huang


Art-house master Tsai Ming-liang discusses his new movie 'The Wayward Cloud,' and his philosophies in a moody, existential interview(Rick Yi,Taiwan News)
For all the film buffs out there, Taiwan's film world enfant terrible Tsai Ming-liang is back again with his new movie "The Wayward Cloud," his bravest and most controversial work so far.

Tsai's latest movie "Wayward Cloud" is a daring, envelope-pushing movie about the lives of actors in the pornography industry. Frequent Tsai collaborator Lee Kang-sheng portrays a porn actor while Chen Shiang-chyi portrays a librarian who starts a relationship with Lee and ends up discovering that he is a porn actor. The movie contains lively musical scenes as well as sexually explicit scenes. The movie is selected for the official competition section in the 2005 Berlin Film Festival which ends February 20.

An award magnet, Tsai has won accolades with every single one of his movies. His debut movie "Rebel of the Neon God" won the Bronze Award at Tokyo Film Festival in 1993. His highly acclaimed second movie "Vive L'Amour" won the highly coveted Gold Lion Award and Fipresci Prize at Venice Film Festival in 1994. His third movie "The River" won the Silver Bear Award at Berlin Film Festival in 1997. His next movie "The Hole" won the Fipresci Prize at Cannes Film Festival in 1998. The 2001 movie "What Time Is It Over There" won the Grand Technical Prize at Cannes. The 2003 movie "Goodbye, Dragon Inn" won the Fipresci Prize at Cannes.

For "Wayward Cloud," which made its world premier in Berlin this past week, Tsai's long-term collaborators also show up for this cutting-edge movie. Actress Lu Yi-ching portrays an aging former porn star who sings her swan song against the backdrop of an eerie room filled with smoke and fire. Last year's Golden Horse best actress winner Yang Kuei-mei portrays another porn actress who sings a song in another scene. A real Japanese porn actress also plays a minor character.

As with all the Tsai movies, the revolutionary "The Wayward Cloud" contains minimal dialogues, almost invisible plot, continuous long shot and long scenes, lingering shots of human body parts that border on fetishism, dark-toned cinematography and, last, but not least, infinite possibilities for symbolic and metaphysical meanings.

Born in Malaysia in 1957, Tsai grew up in an idyllic small town named Kuching. The pace of life is leisurely and almost aimless in the small town. Tsai's favorite pastime during his youth was to go to the various movie theaters to watch Hollywood movies. He wasn't particularly interested in academics.

At the urging of his father, Tsai moved to Taiwan when he was 20 years old to pursue his college education. Tsai chose to major in theater study because film study was not available at that time. He graduated from Taiwan Culture University with a degree in theater in 1981. During his college years, He started writing theater plays and also directed three short films. His short "Instant Minced Meat Noodle" in 1981, "A Door That's Unopenable in the Dark" in 1982 and "The Closet in the Room" in 1983 all explore the theme of the self-defense mechanism employed by modern urban denizens. This is also a recurrent theme in all of his later feature films.

After graduation, Tsai spent a decade working in television as a screenwriter. He started writing and directing his own single-episode TV drama since 1989. It's during the shooting of a TV drama entitled "Child" (1991) when he accidentally discovered a youth named Lee Kang-sheng in a video game bazaar.

Lee later became the muse and Tsai's alter-ego in all of his future movies. Tsai wrote and directed his debut feature film "Rebel of the Neon God" based on the non-professional actor Lee, who even used his real name as the character's name in this movie.

I arrived at Tsai's film company Home Green Films in Yonghe area in Taipei County around 4:30 p.m. on the Sunday before the Lunar New Year holidays for the exclusive interview. The company building is an old-fashioned, almost run-down three-story structure housed inside a brick-and-cement square wall with a court yard in the center where a giant tree looms in the front of the building.

Tsai was in the kitchen cooking something when I entered. He told me to go up to the second floor. I did and saw actor Lee Kang-sheng, busy surfing the Internet, who told me to go straight to the last room at the end of the corridor.

I went inside the room and sat down to pull out my cassette recorder and notebook, waiting for Tsai. The room is a Japanese-style room with straw mats covering the ground and a long rectangular wood table in the center. Surrounding the room is a massive collection of Tsai's works including theater prints, video cassettes, promotional materials, reference books, scripts and books that pile up against the wall to the ceiling except the windows.

Ten minutes later, Tsai came into the room and sat across the table from me, poured tea and offered me a cup. Tsai in person looks exactly like the photos in the newspapers. He sports a buzz cut, and his face is long and curvy, with huge eyes, meaty cheeks. His mouth is the shape of a two rivers twisted upwards at both ends so that he looks like he is constantly smiling even when he is not.

"The idea for 'The Wayward Cloud' started in 1999 when I went back to Malaysia for a trip. At that time, I wanted to write and director a movie about the Southeast Asian foreign laborers who are often exploited and abused in Taiwan," says Tsai. "However, that plan never panned out. Another four years passed. I thought, if I don't do it, I will never get to make this movie. So I plunged in and made 'The Wayward Cloud'."

Asked how the concept of a movie about exploited foreign laborers makes the astonishing leap to a movie about porn actors, Tsai explains, "It's still the same idea but with different occupation. What I am interested in is in exploring the identity issue of these individuals who are caught between two worlds. There are many foreign laborers who lose their work rights in Taiwan and can't go back to their own home countries. They are stuck in between two worlds. The same idea goes for porn actors. They live double lives as porn actors and normal people but end up stuck in between two worlds."


Making the movie


"Originally, I wanted the Hong Kong actress Hsiao Fong Fong to portray an aunt who comes to Taipei to visit Lee and suddenly discovers that he is a porn actor," Tsai says. "But Hsiao was not available. Then I asked Hong Kong director Ann Hui to portray this part. She is very interested and willing to do it. Unfortunately, by the time when we started shooting this movie, Hui was busy with other projects. So I ended up having Li Shang-ling to play a librarian girl who dates this guy and suddenly discovers that he is a porn actor."

Because of the subject matter of porn actors and Tsai's unwavering faith in presenting the absolute truth as he knows on the screen, it's reputed that the nudity and sensual quotient of "The Wayward Cloud" might even upstage Japanese master Nagisa Oshima's "In the Realm of Senses" a film about a sexually sadomasochistic relationship which rocked the industry when it appeared in 1976.

"I really prefer not to talk about how much nudity there is in this movie because that is totally not the point. As with all my previous movies, 'The Wayward Cloud' is about the emotional life of these characters. Talking about the amount of nudity involved will simply mislead the audience," Tsai asserts. "As a director, I also need to protect my actors. They give me their trust and strip naked to perform these characters for the sake of art. They deserve our utmost respect. This is not a porn movie. This is a movie about human emotions."

I asked Tsai about the several important recurrent themes in movies: alienation in urban life, frustrated desires, unfulfilled love, deviant sexual behaviors and a deeply-rooted sympathy for people who live in the margin of the society.

"I moved to Taipei when I was 20 years old. That was a time when Taipei was still relatively innocent and simple. We used to have three TV channels only in that era. During that era of the rigid political climate, they even play patriotic songs on TV everyday," says Tsai. "Then we went through the most drastic change that could happen to a city. Taipei has changed so much and becomes so complicated during the past two decades. Because I grew up in a very simple small village during my childhood, the change of Taipei leaves a huge impact on my mind and psyche. In my 20's, there was a period of time when I could not spend time with anyone for more than 24 hours without freaking out."

"The other thing is of course that - I am a Chinese who was born and raised in Malaysia for the first 20 years of my life," Tsai professes. "Even today, I feel I belong neither to Taiwan nor to Malaysia. In a sense, I can go anywhere I want and fit in, but I never feel that sense of belongings."

"It's also part of my natural personality trait too," Tsai adds. "I am suspicious of the notion of a country, family or home."

"The main point of my cinema is to pursue the truth, and there is nothing more truthful than when a person is being alone. When a person is alone, he doesn't need to perform for anyone anymore. He simply does what he wants and be his real self," Tsai explains. "I, for example, enjoy myself the best when I am peeing. That's the moment when I am totally alone and do not need to pretend anything for anyone."

"I also want to expel the notion is 'solitude' has to be a very depressing state. It's a concept concocted by this society," Tsai elaborates further. "'being alone' does not necessarily means 'being lonely;' solitude can be a very happy state too."

I nodded and applauded Tsai's opinion on this. Then, a question suddenly pops up in my mind. "Tsai, I totally agree with you that solitude does not necessarily mean loneliness. It could be very liberating and comfortable, such as when I am reading and listening to music before going to sleep," I said. "But according to this theory, half of the characters in your movies should enjoy their solitude too. How come all of your characters suffer and drown in loneliness?"

Tsai paused and thought about this for a while. He then agreed, "that's a good question."


For the love of art


For anyone who have sampled Tsai's movies, with its themes of depression, suicide attempt, alienation, estrangement, fear and death, it's natural to be curious whether Tsai Ming-liang the person has suffered from depression or ever had suicidal thoughts as well.

I asked Tsai if the alienation and depression in his movies mirrored his life. Tsai paused for a few minutes before answering, "I would say that my real personal life is a lot better than my movies. I have pretty good and steady friendship with my actors and crew, with other culturati and my own family - but based on a finely defined distance. I am still trying to find that fine point where I can have good relationship with people without colliding."

Closely related to the theme of alienation is the sexual deviation in Tsai's movies. In all of his works, there is a chain reaction of frustrated desires, unfulfilled love, and then sexual fantasies that lead to all antics such as masturbation, voyeurism, and casual, meaningless sex.

Tsai responded first by telling me a riotous joke about a presidential screening of his masterpiece "Vive L'Amour" in 1994. After the movie won the Venice Gold Lion Award, the then President Lee Teng-hui invited Tsai and his actors to go to the Presidential Building for a private screening. Tsai hesitated but accepted the invitation anyway. Tsai, his actors, President Lee and his staff awkwardly sat through this movie about a complicated triangle that involves masturbation, nudity and voyeurism. After the light came up, the audiences were speechless and trapped in a cloud of embarrassment. Ever a tactful politician, President Lee stood up to declare, "Well, masturbation! Everyone has done it. No big deal!"

After this laugh-out-loud tidbit, Tsai went on to explain his filmmaking philosophy. "I always feature characters who are sadly without love and lonely because that's human beings at their most real," Tsai says. "People have asked me why all the sex scenes in my movies are so sad and awkward. I tell them that because these two people are having sex without love. They don't even know or care about each other enough, and of course their sex is awkward."

"For me, solitude and sex are the moments when people are being their real self; there is nothing more real than solitude and sex as far as cinematic devices," says Tsai. "My ultimate goal is to pursue the truth of human relation. Sometimes, even my actors ask me 'director Tsai, do we really have to go to this extreme in our movie?' My answer is yes. That's my method of pursuing the truth."

Asked about his sympathy for the socially marginalized people such as homosexuals, porn actors, prostitutes, the handicapped and the elderly, Tsai frankly responded, "I do not pretend that I have such a big heart and I want to push for social reform; my movies are about the lives of these characters rather than social reform."

"It's about my upbringing. I come from a small village where most people are working-class. My grandfather is a farmer. My father sells bowls of noodles on the street. I grew up helping to sell the noodles and washing the bowls," Tsai reminisces. "After my grandfather passed away, my grandmother opened a mahjong parlor in order to make a living. People from all walks of life came to the parlor to play. I saw so many eccentric characters that might be considered 'at the bottom of the social hierarchy.' But I feel close to these people because I grew up with them. In my movies, I make no judgment about these characters. Whether they are gay or porno actor, they have the same feelings as other people do too. They are all human beings."


Surreal experience


Near the end of our interview, I took 20 minutes to confirm about certain information I read from a book entitled "Tsai Ming-liang" originally published in France in 2001. The book's contributors include writers from Cahier du Cinema, the powerhouse magazine that launched the influential French New Wave movement. This book was apparently published with the collaboration and approval of Tsai and is undisputedly the most authoritative book about Tsai in both Asia and the western world so far. Tsai's mood, however, shifted from his jovial chatter earlier to an impatient stance.

I ended my interview by asking an essential and entertaining question, "Have you ever considered making the movie that every Chinese director in the world wants to do now - a kungfu movie?"

Suddenly, Tsai exploded, screaming at me while jumping up and down on the straw mats. He accused me for asking "stupid questions." He told me, "I overestimated you! I thought you are from the English press and your questions will be more intelligent! But you are like some of those Chinese press! All they care about is nudity, dirt and scandal!"

Although a darling of prestigious international film festivals, Tsai has frequently come under fire with the Chinese press. He was harshly criticized for the depiction of father-son homosexual bathhouse incest scene for the movie "The River" by gay rights organizations and advocates. He was also attacked by feminist groups for his more focused careful attention on the male characters in contrast to the often trivial, abused female characters.

"Why does everyone think it's the most important thing to make a kungfu movie or go to Hollywood?!" Tsai scolded. "Is that all there is about in this world? Kungfu movies and Hollywood?!"

I denied the charge that I ever asked Tsai if he wanted to go to Hollywood. Then I spent the next 50 minutes explaining the logic behind my every question while Tsai raved about the Chinese media which have unfairly criticized and labeled him.

Tsai calmed down after 50 minutes. Then I spent another 10 minutes to explain the logic and the importance of the kungfu movie question. Three internationally acclaimed Chinese directors - Ang Lee, Zhang Yimou, and Chen Kaige - have made their foray into the kungfu movie genre. Two others, namely Wong Kar Wai and Hou Hsiao-hsien, have announced their plans to make a kungfu movie as well. As Ang Lee puts it, "every Chinese director wants to direct a kungfu movie." Does Tsai - who has paid tribute to kungfu master King Hu's classic "Dragon Inn" with his "Goodbye, Dragon Inn" - has the desire to attempt a kungfu movie too? Finally, Tsai gave me his answer: "Of course."

Tsai escorted me and the photographer who accompanied me on this assignment downstairs and to the door. Tsai invited me to go to the screening of "The Wayward Cloud" when it opens commercially this June and invited me for another interview with him.

I left Tsai's company in a state of shock and went home to rest. Rick Yi, the photographer, got into a car accident that night after leaving Tsai's company. Yi was hospitalized and released the next afternoon. When he turned on his camera the next day, Yi was shocked to find the images of Tsai inside. It took a few days for the memories of this Tsai interview to come back to Yi. However, Yi still does not remember how he got into the car accident that night.

The experience of this Tsai interview could be best described as "life imitating art." I, Tsai, the photographer and I sat in that conference room that was spacious at first and then grew claustrophobic with fear, anxiety, isolation, anger permeating the whole space. This interview and its subsequent consequences is a real life version of a Tsai Ming-liang movie with a two-hour continuous long-take interview, fear and alienation, a car crash and loss of memory.

This writer wants to ask the same question Tsai's actors have posed, "do we really need to go to the most extreme?" Does the truth of human experience only exists in the most extreme, dangerous and dark corners? Is there more to the human experience other than loneliness, fear, alienation and incest? Aren't the happier sides of solitude and sex as truthful to the human experience as the dark sides? As talented a filmmaker as he is, Tsai apparently still has a lot of thinking to do in his cinematic journey of pursuing the human truth.

phyrephox

Er, Wong Kar-wai certainly directed a wuxia film, it was called Ashes of Time and predated the genre films of the directors you named.

Nice article though!

Filmbrain

Thanks for the article David -- very interesting.

I actually missed a screening of another film today as I got involved in a discussion about The Wayward Cloud with a few people. We were talking about the film's attitude towards porn, especially considering that there are a few other films at the Berlinale this year with porn as their theme (Inside Deep Throat, Cycles of Porn - Sex Life in L.A.). Of course, I can't get into the details of the conversation here, for I don't wish to spoil the film for anybody.

I really need to see it again. . .

david hume

There is a great interview with Mr Tsai in the Feb. 18 issue of the Taiwan News. Google it. Interview conducted by Andrew Huang, reporter there. The link is here:

http://www.etaiwannews.com/Peolpes/2005/02/18/1108699760.htm

david hume

There is one thing you should bear in mind re porn in a country like Taiwan. First of all, Mr Tsai is not Taiwanese. He grew up in Malaysia until he was 20, so he is really, culturally, a Chinese-Malaysian. He came to Taiwan to attend university when he was 20, but surely his attitudes were already formed.

In Taiwan, porn is not viewed as porn is in the West. Although the stereotype in the West is of Asian societies being conservative about sex, in fact, they view porn as comic relief. Bodily functions. Not as Puritanical UnChristian work of the devil, but just funny sexual acrobatics performed on film. Go to Japan and see. Come to Taiwan and see. Porn is everywhere. Even in the night markets here, today, at night, with kids watching, women undress and stick ping pong balls in their private parts, doing gymnastics with music on the side. Really. Seen it myself many times. So porn in the worldview of Tsai is not porn as seen by Americans or Europeans. Even in today's APPLE DAILY newspaper, on sale at 711 across the island, there is a shot on page 2, color, of two actors in CLOUD having anal sex, and nobody here bats an eye at such a photo. It is comic relief here. Sex is Asia is not an evil, Adam and Eve, Bibical bullshit thing. Here, sex is natural, funny, comic, boisterous, fun. Abortion is no big deal either.

So when you discuss CLOUDS, pay attention to where Tsai is coming from. Taiwan is not your grandfather's bedroom of roses. Even at political rallies here, strippers perform on flatbed trucks to get votes for candidates. Nipples and all.

And the betel nut girls who sell betel nut from glass booths along the roads here, they do sex too. Google "betel nut beauties Taiwan" and you will see. So you must view CLOUDS in this light.

Porn in Taiwan is NOT porn. It is not dirty, evil, unbiblical. It is natural, sweet, funny. Everyone watches it on late night TV, courtesy of the Japanese porn channels here, from grandmas to kids. No big deal. Get over it, Western world!

There is no God, there was no Messiah. You have been had. Sad.

Filmbrain

David --

Having lived in Japan, I'm well aware of their attitude towards pornography. (I'll never forget the first time I saw a salaryman reading an S&M manga on the subway.) My comments were certainly not coming from a Western, puritanical POV. (Some of the porn scenes in the film are indeed comic.) I don't for one minute think Tsai is condemning porn, but there's a reason behind the way he shows it being made in the film. Again, I can't (and won't) say more for I don't wish to spoil it for those that haven't seen it. Though porn may be viewed as "comic relief", that is not the case in this film, at least not in the final third.

Have you seen the film yet? If so, I'd love to discuss it with you via email.

Wayne

Whatever the general view of pornography in Taiwan may be, it does seem that Tsai views it with a degree of disapprobation. Thus, in the press conference for The Wayward Cloud, he describes porn as an "abuse" of the body and suggests that one has to be "dead" in a sense to act in porn films. One goal he evidently has is to generate a critical debate about a use of pornography in Taiwan and elsewhere that has become habitual, unreflective, hypocritical and perhaps pernicious.

david hume

Hi Filmbrain,

Have not seen the film yet, so can't discuss it with you yet, but hope to see it soon. Yeh, those subway riders in Tokyo reading SM manga on the train, what a country! Someone once said the Japanese culture evolved in such a way that most men there never grow up past the age of 13, and having lived there for a long time, dead central Tokyo, I think it's true. The women, another story. They do grow. The men are stuck in ruts, mostly. So the SM manga and weird porn, Lolita clubs and subway molester clubs. Sick and sad, and not good for the local women. I'd hate to be a Japanese woman. Ouch!

As for Tsai's view of porn, I don't know where he is coming from on this. He is gay, so he might have a different view of porn, but then again, who knows.

The movie's poster was in the papers tonight, color poster with a woman giving a blow job to a male actor in the film, but of course, can't see her mouth or his dick. But naked torsos and breasts, yes.

Now the big question here in Taiwan is: will it play in Peoria? In other words, will the censors, cut cut cut, let it go as is, or will they cut the sex scenes? If they do, Tsai said he won't let the film be shown here.

Go figure.

Email me (d_h_888 ATMARKY yahoo.com) and we can chat. When were you in Tokyo? I loved the films of Juzo Itami. Too bad he jumped and committed suicide. Met him once. as for Beat Takeshi, I don't go for his stuff very much. I know the West eats him up, but I think he's very over-rated. Talented, but I don't know in which way. SMILE.

david hume

Tsai's WAYWARD CLOUD gets greenlight from Taiwan censors, will be shown in entirety in March, according to Taipei Times reporter Yu Sen-lun. No cuts, no censorship, full frontal nudity allowed this time around. I think the Berlin prizes helped give the movie some cachet here.

Filmbrain

That's great news. The day I left Berlin it was still unsure as to whether the Taiwan censors would allow it, and Tsai said he would not release an altered version.

Gar

saw the film yesterday in hong kong. and we're lucky enough to have Tsai and Lee after the screening and had a long sharing session with the audience.

the sex scenes between Lee and the jap porn star are obviously inspired by, and are a critique of, the loveless japanese adult movies. they show how the most intimate act between people can be so sickening and alienating.

but more interestingly, the director urged again and again the audience to help promote the movie by telling their friends about it, and he doesn't mind people saying this movis is highly obscene. it leads me to think that the ultra explicit (almost overdone with his typical long shots) sex scenes are more like little gimmicky attractions to get new audience into the cinema, while the usual art-house movie-goers will readily see the meaning beyond the pornographic content.

by the way, according to the director, the movie is actually quite a hit in taiwan :)

JuanSol

You can't blame Tsai for trying to stir a little buzz for his film. Of all the movies he's made, it's about time he gets paid a little. In fact, now that he's producing his own films, the stakes are a bit more personal.

It did sell well in Taiwan, for a Taiwanese movie, but for the wrong reason. I think many goes in expecting to see a porn. I've even heard people in the mid central Taiwan booed him during his intro, so they can get on with "watching the porn". Thanks, Tsai, for sticking to these people.

Incidently, the next script that Lee is writing involves a betal nut girl. So it follows another recurring Tsai/Lee theme: all of the stories are linked and loosely related.

Very interesting interview. I can't wait to see Hou's version of a wuxia film. Ha.

David Hume

Film brain,

Another good, new Taiwan movie is coming out soon, titled MY FAIR LADDY and directed by Alex Yang, who made THE TRIGGER and TAIPEI 21 earlier. Here is a blogsite I found and a review.

http://taiwanfilms101.blogspot.com

If you'd like to see a trailer of the movie, email me and I can send one to you.

David Hume. Taipei


Taiwanese film director Alex Yang sets romantic comedy
on picturesque college campus location in southern Taiwan

[ "我的逍遙學伴" ] (English title: "My Fair Laddy", cf. "My Fair Lady"))


Up-and-coming Taiwanese film director Alex Yang (楊順清), born in 1965 and a graduate of Taiwan's National University of theArts (he was a drama major there), is making his third feature film this summer, following his debut film "The Trigger" [ 扣板機 ] and his popular sophomore followup "Taipei 21" (台北二一).

The new film is titled "My Fair Laddy" (我的逍遙學伴), and the romantic comedy was filmed in June and July on the picturesque campus of Chung Cheng University [中-正-大-學] (literally, Chiang Kai-shek University) in Chiayi County [嘉義] in southern Taiwan [台灣].

The Taiwanese film stars Bobby Dou and Lin Meng-ching [ 林孟瑾 ], among other local actors.

Popular TV host Chang Fei's son also has a starring role in the movie, according to sources.


"My Fair Laddy," which focuses on Taiwan's youth culture, is set for an October or November 2005 debut on screens in Taipei and other cities nationwide. It will be screened at festivals overseas as well, according to the producers.

Synopsis:

MY FAIR LADDY is about a college boy and two college girls. They are all students at Chung Cheng University (CCU) in Chiayi, Taiwan. The boy , named Tong-tong, is not famous until he writes a drama that makes a big hit on campus and even nationwide. Sophia , the most beautiful girl at CCU , promises to perform this drama. During the rehearsal, they start to fall in love with each other...

On the other hand, Tong-tong's girlfriend , Ann , worries about her boyfriend since he begins to be famous. She is afraid of losing him. But she is a thoughful girl, and everytime Tong-tong is without any inspiration , she will pretend to be an anonymous character on the Internet and give him some suggestions.

Finally , Tong-tong is gradually confused with love, fame and being himself... The movie has a little comedy , a little romance , and a lot of meaningful ideas about modern life and romance in today's Taiwan.

It is sure to be a hit nationwide and overseas, too, in Japan and elsewhere.

Yang is known as a sensitive director with a pronounced talent for both composition and dialogue. Having studied and worked with well-known Taiwanese film director Edward Yang [楊德昌] (no relation), Alex Yang is slowing finding his own audiences, both at home and overseas.

With his third film, Alex Yang is finally coming of age as a director.Yang's particular strengths are as a storyteller: his keen grasp of cultural context, and his discreetly poetic sensibility, according to industry sources. He is seen as an heir to the gentle humanism of Edward Yang (whose breakthrough film, ''A Brighter Summer Day'', Alex Yang co-wrote).

Viewers of "My Fair Laddy" can expect the same attention to detail inYang's new film -- the furnishings in people's homes and classrooms, the rhythm of their lives, all serving to delineate elements of character and status -- and a similarly deep affection for his characters.

The use of cellular phones, instant messaging, and e-mail are not just props but are media through which important communication, misunderstandings, and reconciliations in the storyline are made possible, according to sources.

"Can youth save Taiwan film?" asked the International Herald Tribune newspaper last year, in an article from Taipei by reporter CarolineGluck. The answer, in Alex Yang's capable hands, is yes.

Yes, yes,yes!

As Gluck wrote in the IHT: "A new generation of Taiwanese filmmakersand producers is beginning to make waves."

"My Fair Laddy will likely be a breakthrough film for Yang and for Taiwan cinema in general, according to sources, hoping to find audiences in Japan, Hong Kong, Europe and North America following its Taipei debut later this year.


------------------------

我的逍遙學伴 Production Notes:

http://movie.cca.gov.tw/PEOPLE/people_inside.asp?rowid=212&id=1


www.epochtimes.com/b5/4/9/24/n670759.htm

http://www.epochtimes.com/b5/5/6/11/n951811.htm


Production Company: Together Productions, Ltd., TAIPEI

Taiwan's romantic college campus comedy "My Fair Laddy"

set to reach for worldwide audience both East and West

Fortysomething film director Alex Yang is shooting a new movie in Taiwan, his third since "The Trigger" and "Taipei 21", and if all goes well, this may very well be his break-out film, bringing him to the attention of a global audience both East and West. Titled tentatively in English, "My Fair Laddy," a play-on-words on "My Fair Lady", the movie is being billed as a kind of neurotic comedy, a postmodern take on university life among Taiwan's young generations. Starring an energetic cast of Taiwanese actors from TV, film and stage backgrounds, and shoton location in southern Taiwan, on the picturesque college campus of Chung Cheng University, "My Fair Laddy" is actually titled something like "My Cool Study Partner" in Mandarin, and as the title suggests, it's a love story, a comedic, romantic love story: boy meets girl, boy studies with girl, other boys meet girl, hijinx ensue. The original screenplay was written by Yang, and the movie was filmed in July 2005 at CCU.


''My Fair Laddy" looks positioned to reach a wide audience overseas, as well, and Yang and his producers hope to screen the movie at international film festivals in such places as Venice, Cannes, Berlin, Montreal, New York and London. Financed by a production team comprised of Taiwanese and French investors, the film is poised to put Yang on the international festival map and put Taiwanese film-making back in the saddle again. With a theme that college students around the world will be able to relate to, "My Fair Laddy" might be the film that takes Yang to an international stage, while also giving the Taiwanese film industry a much-needed shot in the arm. Soon......viewers in Asia will get a first look at Yang's romantic comedy, and since word of mouth is bound to be good, this film will travel far -- globally.


david hume

http://www.wretch.cc/album/show.php?i=wingfunlau&b=11&f=1129759098&p=0

david hume

http://www.cs.ccu.edu.tw/~lck91u/MyFairLaddy_prev.wmv

Here is a movie trailer for new Taiwan movie by director Alex Yang, who made Taipei 21 and The Trigger. This new movie is titled MY FAIR LADDY in ENglish and "My Free and Unfettered Study partner" in Chinese. 90 minutes. campus comedy. starring Bobby Dou and Lin Meng-ching.

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