By Andy Chen
From social drama (The Lunatics,
'86) and melodrama (That's Life, My Darling, '93) to action
(Full Throttle, '95) and satire (Viva Erotica,'96), Hongkong
filmmaker Derek Yee has done it all. The 41-year-old's oeuvre
isn't marked by any singular genre. He's celebrated instead
for being an actor's director, mentoring Anita Yuen and Shu
Qi to Best Actress and Supporting Actress trophies at the Hongkong
Film Awards for That's Life and Viva Erotica. Might he perform
the same magic with Fann Wong in his latest, The Truth About
Jane & Sam?
DAYS: Do you think long-time teen idol Fann Wong proves her
acting ability in this film?
I think she's already proven
it. No doubt acting on television is different from acting for
the big screen, but she adapted rather quickly. Her TV experience
helped me a lot. You see, her costar Peter Ho's a newcomer to
acting. If both my leads were inexperienced, I'd have had a
much bigger headache.
8 DAYS: Will she gain
raves under your direction just as Anita Yuen and Shu Qi did?
You need two hands to clap,
right? There's no way I can claim all the credit for myself.
If actors are untalented to begin with, there's nothing much
that I can do on my own. Actors are the players on the field;
I'm only the coach. I liked Fann in her 'Shopping' music video.
Watching it, I though she's naturally quite capable of all sorts
of expressions for the camera.
8 DAYS: Are you pleased
with the movie?
This is my smallest-budget film
ever, but a low-budget movie needn't mean a poorly-made one:
I'm very satisfied with Jane & Sam.
8 DAYS: Why did you choose
to collaborate with TCS' Raintree Pictures?
Daniel Yun, CEO of Raintree,
and I had a few meetings, and I found that we agreed on many
things about the film industry. Most importantly, both of us
believe that Asian co-productions are the way forward. We can't
depend on just one market.
8 DAYS: Ever thought
of joining your compatriots, Stanley Tong and Peter Chan, in
I'm observing the situation.
I'm crossing my fingers for the success of Peter Chan's Hollywood
debut, The Love Letter, because that would prove Hongkong directors
can do other things besides action flicks. For the moment, I
want to exhaust every avenue in East Asia first.