News Clippings 20200118

Saturday, 18 January, 2020

I’ll try to add to my collection of News Clippings regularly if I can. Here are a few added on 20200118:

– Vanity Fair, 20200111, “Greta Gerwig on the Lives of Little Women—And Why “Male Violence” Isn’t All That Matters – The filmmaker, who drew on Louisa May Alcott’s life and letters, dives deep into a particularly resonant page of her script.

“This discussion I’m having Amy and Jo have is, in some ways, my thesis. Or at least part of my thesis. Initially I was worried it was going to be too on the nose, this discussion of writing, but it seems to be something that people fold into the emotional arc of the story, that it doesn’t stand out in blinking lights, like, HERE IS WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT. In any case, this discussion of the subject of fiction as either conferring importance or reflecting it, is at the heart of my understanding of the book. It is one of the reasons this book is the book that so many female authors and creators point back to and say, “That is my book; Jo March is my girl.” […]

The very last two lines, about Amy being wise, aren’t directly from the book, but they are an extrapolation of one of my favorite lines of Amy’s—she says, “I don’t pretend to be wise, but I am observant.” That was one of the lines that I underlined and put little stars and exclamation points around because it was another key to the puzzle of Amy. She has always been seen as such a bratty character, with no depth or backbone, and yet when I revisited the book, I found her to be amazingly insightful and compelling. I wanted her to deliver some knowledge to Jo—sometimes creators don’t know what they create, and it is essential to have someone else reflect it back to you. And then of course Amy’s response to Jo, “You were just too busy noticing my faults,” is me in conversation with the 150-year-old audience of Little Women. It’s me—Greta, the author—saying, “WE MISSED HER! SHE WAS WISE ALL ALONG!”

In some ways this entire scene is that—a four-way conversation between me, the modern screenwriter, Louisa May Alcott, the characters of the book, and the audience as it spans across time and space. And I’m saying, it matters what we write. It matters what we make films about. I can because Louisa May Alcott did.”

20191226, 92nd Street Y, “Greta Gerwig on Little Women: Reel Pieces with Annette Insdorf

20200106, THR Directors Roundtable, (I especially LOVE segments with Lulu & Greta) “Todd Phillips (‘Joker’), Martin Scorsese (‘The Irishman’), Lulu Wang (‘The Farewell’), Noah Baumbach (‘Marriage Story’), Greta Gerwig (‘Little Women’), and Fernando Meirelles (‘The Two Popes’) join Close Up with The Hollywood Reporter for this season’s FULL, uncensored Directors Roundtable.

20190529, CBC Radio As It Happens, “Remembering Velma Demerson — the woman jailed in Toronto for living with her Chinese fiancé

“Velma Demerson was a young woman in love with a baby on the way — and for that, she was jailed for nearly a year.

It was 1939 in Toronto and Demerson, a white woman, was engaged to Harry Yip, a Chinese man.

Police showed up at the couple’s home in May 1939 and arrested the then-18-year-old under the Female Refuges Act of 1897, a since-repealed law that allowed authorities to jail women for “incorrigible” behaviour such as promiscuity, pregnancy out of wedlock and public drunkenness.”

20200108 CBC News, Brief But Spectacular – Morgan Barense on Our Memory

“University of Toronto neuroscientist Morgan Barense has created an app called the HippoCamera, which mimics part of the brain compromised in Alzheimer’s disease. She offers her Brief But Spectacular take on how to improve our relationship with those suffering from memory loss.”

More info of Prof. Morgan Barense & her team’s research work at the University of Toronto.

xxx


Goodbye Agnès Varda (1928–2019)

Friday, 29 March, 2019

Goodbye Agnès Varda (1928–2019). In memory and honour of her passing (France24 video report), I’m watching her “Cléo from 5 to 7″ (Kanopy). Here are some reviews of her last film “Varda by Agnes“.

Cleo from 5 to 7 / Cléo de 5 à 7 (1962) – Trailer

Agnès Varda in her own words at TEDxVeniceBeach. //Inspiration and good mood: THAT’S CINEMA!//

Agnès Varda. Cléo from 5 to 7. 2004 (via European Graduate School Video Lectures) Read the rest of this entry »


I would much rather feel comfortable and feel beautiful, than to feel uncomfortable, but look fantastic. – New Quote I Love

Tuesday, 18 December, 2018

I’m adding three quotes by Penny Marshall (the actress, director and producer who passed away yesterday) to my list of Quotes I Love. The first quote was thanks to Olivia Munn. The other quotes I discovered from imdb.

I would much rather feel comfortable and feel beautiful, than to feel uncomfortable, but look fantastic.” – Penny Marshall (1943 – 2018)

I want you to laugh and cry. That’s what I do.

I have a strange combination of fearlessness and massive insecurity.


Good movies online @Kanopy! Thanks @CalgaryLibrary!

Thursday, 6 December, 2018

Here is a list of good movies online via the Kanopy streaming service. Calgary Public Library (CPL) users get to watch up to 10 movies each month. Hope you will enjoy these movies. (Note: Movie links are for CPL. A quick Google confirms public libraries in Toronto and San Francisco are also subscribers of the Kanopy service.)

  1. Guangzhou Dream Factory (documentary) (5/5 stars), trailer (added: 20181206)
  2. Patema Inverted (Japanese Anime) (4/5 stars), trailer (20181206)
  3. Hearts Beat Loud (drama) (5/5 stars), trailer, SXSW Q&A with Nick Offerman and Director Brett Haley, Sundance Q&A (20181206)
  4. Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict (documentary) (4/5 stars), trailer (20181206)
  5. Sweet Bean (Japanese drama) (5/5 stars), trailer (20181206)
  6. Like Someone in Love (Japanese drama) (4/5 stars), trailer (20181206)
  7. After The Storm (Japanese drama) (5/5 stars), trailer (20181206)

P.S. I love Calgary Public Library system’s awesome collection of books, audio books, and, in recent years, massive DVDs and Blu-rays collection! The brand new Central Library is really a work of beauty! Library users can actually make five (5) suggestions per month to the library (via our online account) to buy new books, DVDs, or Blu-rays to add to its collection! So far two out of my five suggestions have been accepted.

Recently Guangzhou Dream Factory was rejected as a purchase but I was told that the film is actually available to watch online via Kanopy ! Truly a case of one door closes, a window opens!


At Eternity’s Gate – starring Willem Dafoe as van Gogh

Friday, 30 November, 2018

The Oscar nominated director (and painter) Julian Schnabel‘s film At Eternity’s Gate about the final years of painter Vincent van Gogh‘s life seems fascinating.

Insightful short clip via TIFF: AT ETERNITY’S GATE director Julian Schnabel on art and creating

AT ETERNITY’S GATE – Official Trailer

AT ETERNITY’S GATE – A Journey Inside the World of Vincent van Gogh

At Eternity’s Gate’ Press Conference | NYFF56

x

 


(video) LOVE Talk 幸福定格 (7 years filmed 8 couples) director Shen Ko-shang 沈可尚 interview

Wednesday, 26 September, 2018

I recently had the great pleasure of having an extensive 2-hour interview with Taiwanese award-winning director of LOVE Talk 幸福定格 (see below for synopsis) Mr. Shen Ko-shang 沈可尚. after watching his new documentary (spent 7 years to film 8 couples) which I really enjoyed and found insightful.

最近慶幸有機會訪問台灣得獎導演沈可尚兩小時,詳談他非常好看及發人深省的新紀錄片”幸福定格 LOVE Talk” (七年時間拍攝八對夫妻) (影片簡介見文章末).

20180925 沈可尚導演訪問 Interview with Director SHEN Ko-shang

LOVE Talk 幸福定格 movie poster

LOVE Talk 幸福定格 movie poster

Trailer 預告片

Ko-shang was very accommodating in letting me asked questions in English (with some Mandarin translation when necessary) and then he answered in Mandarin.

沈導演非常包容合作, 樂意讓我用英語發問(必要時加上一些普通話翻譯),然後沈導演用普通話回答。

Since Ko-shang gave some very broad, in-depth, very insightful and sometimes unexpected answers, I wasn’t sure if it is useful or unhelpful to break the Q&As down and provide precise time codes to help viewers access a specific section.

由於沈導演給出了一些非常廣泛,深入,有見地且有時出乎意料的答案,我也不確定是否應該把每一段問答(Q&A)分開,並提供時碼 (time codes, 時分秒)以幫助觀眾跳到訪問特定的時碼是否有益。

My suggestion is to watch the whole interview from beginning to end so it flows better. But if you must, see below for linked time codes and my questions.

我建議從頭到尾觀看整個訪問,以保流暢。 但是,如果你覺得有幫助,訪問片段之後有我的題問和相關的時碼 (time codes) 連接。

LOVE Talk 幸福定格 director Mr. Shen Ko-shang 沈可尚 interview

========

Here are some of the questions asked: 以下是訪問中的一部份問題:

Question @1m45s I heard from a HK organizer of Chinese Documentary Festival (第十一屆華語紀錄片節) the first screening of “Love Talk” was sold out on the first day of ticket sales. And the second screening are almost sold out. So they added a third screening.

How do you feel when hearing this good news? Do you feel pressure from anticipation of the audiences?

Question @3m52s Are you looking forward to Q&As with HK audiences?

Question @5m10s In 2010, you pitched 幸福定格 with the English title “Double Happiness Limited” at the CCDF pitching forum (華人紀錄片提案) and now 7 years + editing time later, 幸福定格 has evolved into “LOVE talk” (with the letters
L.O.V.E. in upper case).

Can you talk about what did you try to capture in the beginning and what did you get at the end?

Question @14m07s So it took 14 months to make: 賽鴿風雲 RACING PIGEON IN TAIWAN, 3 years to make: 築巢人 A Rolling Stone, and now 7 years to make 幸福定格 LOVE talk filming 8 couples.

How did you feel during the 7 years of filming and about one year of editing? Were you very worried about not getting what you want or need?

Question @21m28s When you decided you to start editing, did you ever go back to film more footage?

Question @29m03s Are there cases after their chats were filmed, they asked you to delete the footage or promise not to use them? If not, what would you have done if you were asked?

Question @37m26s If you had a time machine and could time travel to 10, 20, or 30 years into the future to talk to the grown up children of the couples, what would you tell them? Would you thank them? What would you say?

Question @44m11s How did you decide to place the funny moments, the heart warming moments, the tense and stressful moments in the film? In a sense, how did you discover the flow of the film?

Question @1h03m14s Since LOVE talk has already screened at film festivals in places like 西寧, 武漢, and 北京, and you’ve Q&As, something I understand you enjoyed. Can you give examples of three memorable audience questions that you were asked and your answers?

Comment @1h12m01s Mr. Shen: “In the three screenings, audiences all have asked this question.

Question @1h15m20s Some viewers who have watched a promotional clip would have learned one of the women in the movie had stage 3 liver cancer. After rematching the film, I realized it wasn’t mentioned it the movie. Can you explain a little of your reasons of actually NOT giving much details about the couples and what happened to them as some scenes ended mid-argument?

Comment @1h16m42s Mr. Shen: “The most important message of this film is “TALK“.

Question @1h18m56s My question about naming the film “TALK love” since TALK is so important?

Question @1h20m56s In the end of the film, we learned one of the husbands was in HK? Is he still working in HK? And do you know if he plans to attend one of the screenings?

Question @1h23m37s German director Werner Herzog is known for making some great documentaries and drama. I love his documentaries: Grizzly Man , Cave of Forgotten Dreams and his dramas like Rescue Dawn. You yourself have made both dramas and documentaries in your career. Can you briefly talk about your processes in coming up with ideas, planning, and making documentaries vs dramas? Do you have a favourite genre: documentaries or dramas?

Question @1h33m10s When you write your script, do you have actors/actresses in mind playing those roles? And how do you cast actors/actresses to act in your movies? Canadian director David Cronenberg once used YouTube interview videos to help him cast a movie (Twilight superstar Robert Pattinson in his movie Cosmopolis).

Question @1h44m42s What next for you with “LOVE talk”? Which festivals are you scheduled to attend? And will people in Taiwan get to see “LOVE talk” in film festivals or main theatres?

Question @1h47m25s What do you look forward in your upcoming trip to HK? What do you like to eat? What do you usually do in HK?

Question @1h48m33s Some of your HK friends make documentaries. Do you end up talking shops and each others’ movies with your documentary filmmaking friends?

========

Here are some official film stills of LOVE Talk 幸福定格:

========

LOVE Talk 幸福定格 @ The 11th Chinese Documentary Festival 2018
Date Time Venue
17/10 (Wed) 2:30 pm Lecture Hall, Hong Kong Science Museum*
18/10 (Thur)【Additional Screening】 9:50 pm MOViE MOViE Cityplaza*
20/10 (Sat) 3:30 pm MOViE MOViE Cityplaza*
*Q&A session with the director

** From LOVE Talk 幸福定格 promotional materials **

//LogLine:
He spent 7 years looking for the secret to the preservation of marriage. Taiwan director Shen Ko-shang, after his first year of marriage, started to question his marital life, and with these questions, he had been shooting 8 couples for 7 years. He invited them to have conversations in front of the camera, while the topics ranging from their in-law issues, children upbringing problems, to the division of responsibilities in their marriage, in order to seek for the answers to two questions: Do people really need marriage? How exactly do two people get along with each other for a lifetime?

Synopsis
One finds love, marries and then expects happiness. Once in marriage, love alone ceased to be the only thing that bonds the two together; things of more complexity are added to the play. A conversation, an exchange, is the only possible means of dissolving the boundary between two individuals. The film focuses on daily conversations between eight couples. In their trivial dialogues of love, husband and wife question each other on topics ranging from sex, parenting, housework division, problems with their mother-in-law, and even dullness of marital life. The conversations reflect the authenticity of characters’ conditions of living, exploring the depth of intimate relationship in marriage while at the same time shedding a dim light on the significance of happiness. Perhaps this sort of happiness lies in the journey where seeking is the end itself, and it can certainly not be captured in frame.//

//影片簡介
作品曾獲亞太影展最佳紀錄片、臺北電影節首獎導演沈可尚,歷時七年,執著記錄八對邁入婚姻殿堂、時間長短不一的夫妻生活對話,他們開誠佈公、質問著對方日常生活中不會觸及的話題,從為什麼要與對方結婚到不再有激情的婚姻生活;是否厭倦對方到一觸及發的婆媳問題;還有關於性、關於生孩子、關於受不了對方的點點滴滴…。
其中中國大陸的小夫妻阿飛和樂會,他們在共同打工的地方認識、相愛、結婚,通過質樸的對話,可以看到內地年輕一代農民工的婚戀觀念;來自臺灣的白領年輕夫妻勇諴和薇之,他們展現了城市新潮夫妻的對於婚姻生活的期待與妥協;另外還有教授、小吃店老闆、白領職員、藝術工作者、創業家、家庭主婦等來自不同地方不同處境的夫妻,將帶領觀眾再次反思自身對婚姻與幸福的定義。//

========

Further exploration (interviews & news):

*) Ko-shang did an insightful and fun to listen to hour long interview with 人氣心理專家鄧惠文 (精神科醫師/心理治療師) on her radio show. You can listen to the full News98 radio show on YouTube.

*) 《幸福定格》導演沈可尚:婚姻,比愛情深刻,比親情好玩 (ref)

*) 导演沈可尚:爱比我们想象中的复杂得多


When did you become a snob?! – New Quote I Love

Monday, 20 August, 2018

I’m adding a new quote to my long list of Quotes I Love. For this one, I need a lot of context, so I’m including an excerpt of an insightful talk delivered by Crazy Rich Asians (#1 box office of $35M+ in a 5-day opening) director Jon M. Chu in this 2015 Film Independent Forum Keynote .

I found out this video after Chu shared it a tweet “Ironically, I was on THE EXACT same stage that only 2.5 years ago I was giving a painful speech about what it was like for my movie to BOMB its opening weekend. But I think back &that is also the exact moment my #CrazyRichAsians journey began. #persevere

Jon M. Chu‘s mom: When did you become a snob?!

For the first time in my life, I wasn’t making anything either. I didn’t have a video camera and I wasn’t editing on my own. For those five years, this idea, this carrot of you’re going to make a movie, you’re going to make a movie eluded me. And I didn’t fulfill that part of my body. The longest time in my life that I wasn’t making stuff physically.

Then this script comes across my desk. This is literally five years later. And I’m in the condo that the pair play price (???) bought for me. I’m out of money basically. And I get a script for Step Up 2. I’m like what’s Step Up 2? Oh, it’s a direct-to-dvd sequel to this dance movie. I was like, oh yeah, I think I saw that. And I was like I don’t do direct-to-dvd. And I was like, you know, Steven Spielberg saw my short, he loved it. I’m gonna make features. I’ve been working on it for over five years. It’s only six months away. And I talked to my mom. And she was like, when did you become a snob?!
What are you talking about? She’s like “you trained to be s storyteller and a storyteller can use anything even if it’s campfire. So what makes you think you’re so good and you’re like on the bench of a great team but you’ve never played. Like get your two minutes prove what you can do.”
And I was like, yeah, you’re right. I’m gonna make the best damn direct-to-dvd dance movie sequel ever.”” – Jon M. Chu

Film Independent Forum, Jon Chu Keynote (16:31)


%d bloggers like this: