Interview: SCUD "Love Actually...Sucks"

Saturday, July 30, 2011

QFEST 2011

lft to rt: Haze Leung, Scud, Ryo van Kooten
 Taking inspiration from six different court cases involving crimes of the heart, Scud examines the intense, often self-destructive sexual longings among several well-to-do young Hong Kong residents – gay, lesbian and straight. The film opens with the most scandalous wedding reception ever put on film: a young couple’s marriage ends (in the most dramatic fashion) before it begins. There is the 30-ish married gym instructor who trolls the active bathroom scene for young flesh; a lesbian couple with roleplay issues; a dance instructor who becomes the object of attraction to his much older student; a married painter who falls for his male model; a brother and sister who take family togetherness a bit too literally; and a young man who becomes increasingly deranged until he takes his love interest problems into his own hands. In Scud’s world, every love story is a fairy tale – but here the stories are sexual and troubling. Overall, a complex, sensual and compelling film. (Cantonese with English subtitles) — Raymond Murray

What I loved most about blogging during QFest was getting a chance to interview a couple of directors, mostly via e-mail correspondence, but still proud of the end results.

Here's one with international director, Scud before the World Premiere of Love Actually... Sucks:

Q: When it comes to love, sex and relationships, What do you hope our QFest audience will take away from this film (Love Actually… Sucks!) ?

Scud: I reckon many audiences may find sympathetic experience from their own love. To me the film is a vibration, a sign, an exclamation to what love is and means to our life, and the fact that passion is often very fateful, as the shopkeeper in the island said to “Spider”: rivals meet, lovers drift apart (a concept in Buddhism). Some love like that just can’t work out in the current life and there is little we can do about it.

Q: Did you do a lot of research on the 6 court cases the film represents? Or did you just use the headlines of these crimes for the beginning idea?

S: Some of those were rather high profile cases, like the “Spider” story which hit the headline a few times, to the extent that we could dress him with the same cloth, interviewed the shopkeeper who met him, and shot at exactly the same location where he spent the last 19 days of his life. For the less covered ones we went to court files to make sure the drama is close to the reality whenever possible.

Q:  When shooting, did you film all the scenes of one story completely before shooting the next story?

S: We had to shot the scenes in parallel. The need for so many casts from different parts of the world also limited our options.

 Q: How are movies with a lot of sex received in Hong Kong? Are your films able to reach a wide audience?

S: Unfortunately, the film has yet to clear the censorship of both Hong Kong and Taiwan. The Asian especially Chinese community is still very conservative on sex scenes and so called moral issues such as incest. My earlier films actually set precedents for the HK cinemas, like “Amphetamine” caused so much controversies that there was a wide debate on whether we need a censorship body at all.

Q: What are you looking forward to doing in Philadelphia besides attending QFest?  When was the last time you were in the United States?

S: I was in a few film festivals in US last year, and just returned from California. I’ve never been to Philadelphia but knowing it was the first capital and major city of USA. I’m very excited to meet the audiences over there and look forward to any questions and discussions about my films in this greatest film market of the world.  But sightseeing or the sort is not my cup of tea.

 Click logo to view video Q & A of Scud post-screening of Love Actually Sucks at QFest 2011

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is about discovering what I find pleasing in screening & eating - in case you missed it, the name is a play on Tinseltown using the Tines of a Fork.

Feel free to send me info on a film or new restaurant you'd like me to highlight.

Will there ever be a cap on movie prices?

Will we one day pay $20 a pop?

Why don't we pay on a scale?

A crap movie like everything Adam Sandler has ever done should cost about $4.50.
Big action movies like"Lord of the Rings", "Iron Man," "Transformers" are worth $10.
Woody Allen movie or something like "Silver Linings Playbook" $6-$7.
A chick flick or light comedy $5.75 and most Indie Films $5.25.

You could even do it by seasons - all summer block busters from May to August - $10
Sept - November 15th $3.50 - $4
Back to $10 for Thanksgiving and Christmas etc...

Or you can do it by A Actors ($9 - $10), B Actors ($6 - $7) TV actors on the big screen ($3.50 - $4)

Surely I'm not the first person to realize this makes sense. Has it been voted on in the Motion Picture Industry and then vetoed? If so, why?

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