Tuesday, October 21, 2008

[TIFF 2008 Teach In] Beautiful Crazy (乱青春)

Left to Right: Liao Chien-hui, (translator), Angel Yao, Lee Chi Yuarn, (translator/moderator)

Director Lee Chi Yuarn and actresses Angel Yao and Liao Chien-hui were in attendance today for the Teach-In session after the screening, and the following is an excerpt of the discussioin:

Q: Why are three different colours and styles used in the film – full colour, strained and monochrome?
Lee Chi Yuarn (LCY): The themes of the film is on time, memory and love. Memories never stop flowing, and for this aspect, the cinematographer has opted for a handheld camera to demonstrate the fluidity of memory. I avoided the traditional way of using flashbacks, and rather, I used flash forwards. I want the audience to enjoy the feelings portrayed in the movie, and not to follow the logic. I'd rather they experience what the characters experience, and to sit back and relax, to follow their feelings and see if they feel touched through something similar experienced. Black and white is not necessary in the past, but can mean different things.

The director also shared that despite not knowing the language, his Dutch cinematographer was also moved to tears in one particular scene involving the father and daughter eating ice-cream at the shop.

Q: I notice that the film has many long takes and long dialogue, was it challenging to do film in that manner?

Angel Yao (AY): I was lucky to have little dialogue for my role. Even though the scenes were long takes, the director allowed us to be free and not rigid with the lines, and for us to react to what happened there and then, so it was a rather enjoyable shooting process.
Liao Chien-hui (LCH): The long takes allowed emotion to flow more naturally, and not feel as if we needed to cut our feelings halfway. The difficulty I had faced was in my memorizing the dialogue for my confession scene. For that scene, I was not allowed to chnge the dialogue, and it contained a number of vulgar words that I did not use.

Q: The movie starts with short scenes, then they became longer in length which became self-explanatory. Could you explain this further?
LCY: I didn't use a conventional script, and had used cards to write down scenes and improvised from there. You can say that the film was “edited” rather than scripted. I took 7 days to write it, 18 days to shoot, and spent a year to edit the film.

Q: What kind of actress would you hope to be in the future?
AY: I was a child actress doing television commercials, music videos and so on. I know I had wanted to become either an actresss, a singer or a dance instructor. When I got a call from the director, he had offered me the role of Angel. After making the film and having it screened to an audience, I'm happy with it, and thought that I've done a good job and made a good decision. So I want to become a film actress rather than an actress in one of those Taiwanese idol serials.
LCY: This is my first movie, as I was studying film production back in the university. After making this movie, I am inspired to want to pursue a career in acting in film, even witth directors worldwide. I'm happy to be able to participate in the Tokyo International Film Festival this year!

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