Tsai Ming-liang’s “Face” Starts Shooting in Taipei; Huashan Art District to be Flooded in Special Effect Scene
Tsai Ming-liang is rushing to complete his newest feature “Face” in time for a screening at the Cannes Film Festival in May. Filming of the movie in Taipei commenced on February 17 amid a great deal of hoopla and excitement. Tsai took time out of his hectic schedule to appear at a press conference at The Red Playhouse in downtown Taipei to mark the beginning of shooting here. French star, Fanny Ardant, who is a recipient of the Cesar Award for Best Actress and the Silver Bear for Individual Artistic Contribution at the Berlin Film Festival, has come to Taiwan to take part in the film. In addition to Director Tsai, a number of actors in the film, including Lee Kang-sheng, May Yang, Lu Yi-ching, Chen Shiang-chyi, and Jeff Chen, were on hand. Taipei City Mayor Hao Long-bin, Government Information Office Minister Su Jun-bin and Council of Cultural Affairs Minister Pi-Twan Huang also came to the event to offer their greetings.
The film will shoot on various streets throughout Taipei and will also feature old theatres in the West Gate District of the city. The movie will even have a scene that features Taiwan’s unique mourning culture. Tsai will take shooting to the Huashan Art District for some picturesque backgrounds, and the scene there will feature flooding, marking the special effects highlight of the movie. In order to film the scene, the Taipei Film Commission and the Council of Cultural Affairs began coordinating the building of various pipes and other necessary equipment after the Lunar New Year holiday concluded. The agencies have also asked the Taipei City Government’s Hydraulic Engineering Office and the Taipei Water Department to help in the effort, providing nearly six million tonnes of waterpower that will be needed for the scene. At the press conference, Mayor Hao presented a puppet of Lady Fan made by renowned puppet artist Huang Ching-hui to Fanny Ardant to mark her first trip to Taiwan. This symbolized the spirit of being highly resourceful and capable, and winning the respect of those in the crowd. The Chinese couplet alluded to also refers to the resourcefulness of the city government in assisting the production team in transforming the scene at the Huashan Arts District.
GIO Minister Su said that he never expected that Taiwan, a movie, and the Louvre Museum would have such a beautiful encounter. He said that after another shift in the ruling party on Taiwan, there will be a Taiwan movie that will forever be in the collection of the Louvre Museum. This is something that people have dreamt about for ages. Minister Su said the GIO is honored to have been able to invite such a talented director to engage in this cooperation, working on behalf of arts & culture as well as Taiwan cinema. Minister Su also expressed his gratitude to the Taipei City Government. He said that a good movie relies on more than receiving funding from the GIO. Minister Su said Taipei City has provided an outstanding model, enabling everyone to understand that supporting film involves more than just offering financing, but that it also involves creating a good environment for shooting. The GIO also hopes to take advantage of this opportunity to nurture the birth of even more good films from north to south on Taiwan. Minister Su also thanked Director Tsai and his production team for enabling an outstanding film from Taiwan to have a wider audience throughout the world. This is more valuable than any sort of advertisements that Taiwan could air, he said.
“Face” is expected to be ready for its world premier at the Cannes Film Festival. The film is slated to hit the screens on Taiwan in early September. More information on the film is available at the official blog: http://blog.sina.com.tw/atom