Agnès Varda in her own words at TEDxVeniceBeach. //Inspiration and good mood: THAT’S CINEMA!//
Agnès Varda in her own words at TEDxVeniceBeach. //Inspiration and good mood: THAT’S CINEMA!//
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.“
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.)
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.
Insightful short clip via TIFF: AT ETERNITY’S GATE director Julian Schnabel on art and creating
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.
Ko-shang was very accommodating in letting me asked questions in English (with some Mandarin translation when necessary) and then he answered in Mandarin.
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。
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?
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 **
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?
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.//
Further exploration (interviews & news):
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
Here are 10 things you don’t know about Crazy Rich Asians the movie:
““I met with, I think, six producers in one day,” says Kwan. “It was like a beauty contest.” Many had renminbi signs in their eyes. “They were interested in getting into the Chinese market, and I was like, ‘This is a movie with worldwide and domestic potential — that just happens to star Asians.'”
Color Force’s Jacobson and Simpson, known for the Hunger Games franchise, saw it the same way. “It feels so mainstream and accessible — anybody can relate to being rejected by in-laws,” says Jacobson. She and Simpson vowed to secure financing from a company with Asian ties, and UTA steered them to Ivanhoe Pictures, Penotti’s then-brand-new company with offices in Singapore and Hong Kong. While Kwan had lucrative offers, he optioned his book to Color Force and Ivanhoe for just $1 (with triggers in place for him to earn more as the project got made) in exchange for the right to remain involved with development decisions — a rare opportunity for a first-timer. “To say, ‘I’m going to do this for a dollar,'” says Simpson, “the only other person I know who does that is Stephen King.””
2) (see pix) Real life inspiration for Rachel Chu
See author Kevin Kwan’s Instagram post, “[my dear friend Vivian’s] stories inspired me when I created the character of Rachel Chu and her family. Jon M. Chu, the director of “Crazy Rich Asians,” was one of the cousins Vivian had been talking about for so many years. I never dreamed that he would one day direct the film based on my book, a film with a heroine who is inspired by the women in his own family. Last night, it all came full circle in this photo – the first time Vivian, Jon, and I were all together in one place.”
View this post on Instagram
More than ten years ago, my dear friend Vivian in New York started telling me stories about how she grew up in Northern California amongst all her cousins and how close knit they all were. As I moved to the US when I was eleven and had to leave behind my closest cousins, I was fascinated by the stories of her cool American-Born Chinese family, so different from my own, and her stories inspired me when I created the character of Rachel Chu and her family. Jon M. Chu, the director of "Crazy Rich Asians," was one of the cousins Vivian had been talking about for so many years. I never dreamed that he would one day direct the film based on my book, a film with a heroine who is inspired by the women in his own family. Last night, it all came full circle in this photo – the first time Vivian, Jon, and I were all together in one place.
3) (with video) Getting permission to use Gardens by the Bay went right up to the PMO
The producers were having a hard time getting permission to film at the epic beautiful Gardens by the Bay location until CRA author Kevin Kwan visited the set in KL one day and heard of the challenge and mentioned that actress Janice Koh’s (she played auntie Felicity Young in the movie) husband was the CEO of Singapore Tourism Board. Ultimately, it went right up to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) of Singapore to get the OK. Watch the producers talk about it in this segment of Oscars video (timecode 9:30).
4) (with video) Location for Young’s family home was a shithole (literally :)
Finding a location for the Young’s family home was very hard as a home like that doesn’t exist in Singapore. A location was found in KL (where 65% of the film was shot). After watching the beautiful house in the film, you wouldn’t know it was run down, “collapsing on itself” and had monkey pooh on the floor! Watch the producers discussed it in this segment of Oscars video (10:10).
5) (with video) Dumpling & mahjong scenes are new and not in the book
(*** NOTE: Unfortunately, this video is no longer on YouTube.)
The dumpling scene and the mahjong scene aren’t in the book and I quite like them both. Here co-screenwriter Adele Lim talks about these two scenes in this Q&A.
WARNING: Some spoilers!!!! Peter Chiarelli and Adele Lim on writing CRAZY RICH ASIANS (6:53)
6) (with video) Coldplay‘s “Yellow” in Chinese
Director Jon M. Chu (朱浩偉) had to work his magic on Warner Bros and Coldplay to get the song into the movie. QZ has an excellent report in “HOW COLDPLAY’S “YELLOW,” IN CHINESE, ENDED UP ON THE “CRAZY RICH ASIANS” SOUNDTRACK” that is worth reading in full. Here is an excerpt, Read the rest of this entry »