Monday, 10 January 2011

Director Talk: Derek Tsang & Jimmy Wan

Nominated for Best New Director at the 47th Taipei Golden Horse Award, Derek Tsang and Jimmy Wan's first feature film "Lover's Discourse" will be screening soon in Singapore exclusively at Cathay Orchard Cineleisure and AMK Hub. As part of the promotional campaign, they've visited Singapore and delighted us with a film sharing session at the National Library on 10 January 2011.

Derek Tsang (left) & Jimmy Wan (right)

What is love? A disruption in the body's chemistry? A hormonal upset? A fleeting biological urge? Well... it's probably all of the above. But science cannot explain love. To understand what it really is, how it affects us, and what it costs us, we need to look at empirical examples...

Hidden Love
Nancy (Karena Lam) and Ray (Eason Chen) finally manage to meet up amid the crowds on the streets of Causeway Bay by guiding each other on their cellphones. They while away the rest of the evening in Victoria Park, fooling around like young kids and reminiscing about the holiday in Japan they spent together a while back. They edge gradually towards a confession that they still love each other. Finally, though, it's time for them to return to their respective partners.

Secret Crush
Gigi (Kay Tse) staffs a laundry shop near a housing estate, and has a crush on her regular customer Sam (Eddie Pang). She covers her shyness and insecurity by pretending not to notice him and requiring him to repeat his contact details every time he comes by. But the things she finds in the pockets of his clothes trigger a series of fantasies in which she romances a mannequin version of Sam. She sees herself as her dental nurse, as a victim needing to be rescued from a Chinese vampire, as an old-time movie heroine. Then, one day, Sam tells her that he will be moving away...

One-sided Love
Paul (Jacky Heung) is shadowing Sam (Eddie Pang) in the glassware department of a big store, while Sam is on the phone to a girl he's trying to meet. Staying out of sight, Paul (William Chan - the young Paul) recalls his boyhood friendship with Sam (Carlos Chan - the young Sam) and his family twelve years earlier. They were classmates, and Paul used to visit Sam's family to watch English soccer on TV. One day, Paul spotted Sam's father (Eric Tsang) in Tai Po and took photos of him visiting his mistress there. He then began stalking Sam's mother (Kit Chan), and eventually showed her the visual evidence of her husband's infidelity. Next time he visited his friend's home, he found that Sam's mother had moved out.

Bitter Love
Paul (Jacky Heung) is online at home when he gets an email from Kay (Mavis Fan), telling him that his wife Nancy (Karena Lam) is being unfaithful. Kay says she knows this, because it's her partner Ray who Nancy is seeing. Paul agrees to met her, but is sceptical about her claim and refuses to believe her evidence. She persuades him that they can resolve the matter one way or the other by following each other's partners one evening. This they do, with consequences that surprise both of them...

(Trailer with english subtitles)

Through four tales of romance, Derek Tsang and Jimmy Wan wish to depict the complexity of the modern urban dweller's relationship with love in various forms. Such perplexity of love has seldom been taken straight on, especially when Lover's Discourse involves four tales with intertwined characters that somehow enhances the overall plot feel that isn't too scattered and lost for the audience.

It's a collection of an urban city's love stories.

Derek and Jimmy have revealed at the sharing session that they had initially started off with 9 stories, which were eventually reduced to 6 and subsequently 4 as it was the right size for a feature length. However, Derek later added that the last story was actually written outside of the original 9. It seems to me that these gentlemen are so capable of film ideas (they've both had rich screenwriting experience prior), which they've also admitted that it isn't an issue for them but rather the decision to explore specific genres other than romance (their upcoming second feature film starring Shawn Yue and Zhang Jingchu is also a romantic comedy in post-production phase).

They're determined that their third feature film will not be romance.

Lover's Discourse features quite a few interesting cast with the likes of Eason Chen, Karena Lam, Mavis Fan, Kit Chan, and even a cameo by Derek's father Eric Tsang. Derek expressed that it was important for him to have his father casted in his very first feature film, albeit with a brief role.

Eason and Karena are Derek's personal choice and he very much wanted them to be in his film especially since they have never partnered with each other before. Kit Chan has been out of touch with new film and music work, therefore when she happened to be performing a concert in Hong Kong, Derek and Jimmy didn't let the opportunity slip by approaching her with the script.

They've described it as a "now or never" lifetime opportunity with Kit's elusiveness.

Mavis is a long-time friend of Derek's whom he has known for years and it was also his keen intention for her to be casted since she has not been involved with films of late. It was an interesting note that Mavis composed the film's theme song and had her mother perform the vocals. Check out the MV below:

After working under Edmond Pang for several of his projects, Pang has allowed them liberal control over Lover's Discourse as a Producer this time. Despite so, Jimmy has elaborated that they have selectively adapted Pang's style that are deemed suitable for the film.

When confronted by questions from the floor pertaining to their personal love life/stories involvement, they've pretty much kept mum about it. Derek has interestingly replied that love is in his opinion akin to water, you don't usually think about or source for it unless you're thirsty. Water is an essential element for human beings and we depend on it for survival.

Through these four urban tales of love, Directors Derek and Jimmy implores you to dwell in deep thoughts upon watching their film and hope you may relate yourself or anyone in your life to any of the stories and think about the perplexities and what exactly is love.

Meantime, you may also like to view their recent short film here for interest and reference (in mandarin).

Lover's Discourse opens 13 January 2011 in Singapore exclusively at Cathay Orchard Cineleisure & AMK Hub.


  1. Interesting read. Pretty compelling stuff and I'll definitely have to check out their work.

  2. @MDV Thank you Matthew for dropping by to pick up this read! Yes, I'm similarly intrigued by this film and will be checking it out when it releases here on the 13th.


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