Those Were The Schooldays
You are the Apple of My Eye has been breaking box office records in Taiwan and Hong Kong recently, and this weekend we should see healthy box office numbers coming out of its opening weekend as well, where it finally made it to its general release after a lengthy period period of some 3 weeks, with what I notice as excellent and positive word of mouth going around. I know of friends who have gone to the cinema multiple times to take in the film again, perhaps seeing shades of themselves or people they know in the characters portrayed on screen, and some like me who have taken to the purchase of memorabilia from the original novel, to the soundtrack, and the Making-Of the film book Somewhere, Sometime, Some Way written by Giddens (九把刀) himself.
And within that detailed book which chronicles the entire production process and journey, laden with plenty of colour photographs, is the Making-Of DVD, running almost 32 minutes, presented in a letterbox format with language available only in Mandarin (Taiwanese accented of course), and subtitles in Traditional Chinese only. There's no opening credits, or credits of any sort, starting abruptly and examining a number of scenes in the film, with care taken to prevent any potential spoilers through pixellation, such as words printed on a lantern, or the identity of the groom in the show.
Still, it's a look into some major scenes in the movie, with the director Giddens providing some insights as he gets interviewed to say something about the scene they are about to film, as well as behind the scenes look in the production process that highlights the camaraderie amongst the cast members, with easter eggs thrown in such as the cameo appearances of his real friends who serve as inspiration and reference for the film. You may also have seen the coda at the end of the movie, and that moment is also contained in this Making-Of video, past the 26th minute mark. Definitely a must watch for fans, albeit only for about half an hour, since it's a great audio-visual companion to the text and photographs captured in the book.
You can read my review of the film here, and it has my well wishes to snag all the awards it's nominated for at the upcoming Golden Horse Awards on 26 Nov 2011, where it's in the running for Best Leading Actress (Michelle Chen), Best New Director (Giddens), Best New Performer (Ko Chen-Tung) and Best Original Film Song (Na Xie Nian). Still think it was robbed of a nomination in Best Film and Best Adapted Screenplay though.