Bare Emotion: An Interview with Scud on Voyage

By Gary M. Kramer.


The mono-monikered Hong Kong writer-director-producer, Scud (born Danny Chan Wan-Cheung) has been making distinctive films for the past decade. His debut, City Without Baseball (2008), co-directed with Lawrence Lau, was based on stories of the Hong Kong baseball team, who also starred in the film. The entertaining film generated headlines for its extensive full male nudity, first on display during the opening credit shower sequence.

Scud’s sophomore effort was Permanent Residence (2009), his poignant, semi-autobiographical drama about Ivan (Sean Li), a gay man in love with his straight best friend, Windson (Osman Hung). Throughout the film there are several moving scenes of Ivan lying next to or embracing Windson, the love of his life, and basking in their bromance. That they will never be friends with benefits is a situation that causes Ivan tremendous heartbreak. Permanent Residence also features Scud’s emphasis on examining death, depression, suicide, and the afterlife, themes that were expanded upon in his later films, most notably Voyage (2013).

As Scud found his footing as a director – his background was in IT – he garnered international acclaim for his subsequent films, Amphetamine (2010) and Love Actually…Sucks (2011). These dramas depicted the pain of love as well as characters struggling with trauma, addiction, and depression. While playing the festival circuit, they helped establish Scud as a unique filmmaker of palpable emotions. He captured the speed and intensity of an unexpected if doomed affair in Amphetamine; the longing of a love not meant be in Permanent Residence; and a jaundiced view of romance in Love Actually… Sucks as six interwoven stories chronicled bad love affairs.

Scud’s films are stylish, glossy productions that showcase attractive actors expressing their passions and naked bodies in showers and bedrooms, on beaches and outdoors. His films are sexy, but they are not necessarily erotic. Despite the frequent full nudity, his emphasis is more of an expression of the character’s freedom. The characters often portray their emotions on their sleeves, since Scud focuses on unrequited love throughout all his work. His characters are obsessed with someone they cannot have, or a love that is forbidden in some way. What resonates is the yearning the characters and the audience feel.

His romantic dramas are engaging because his actors communicate their desires, longing, and heartbreak through their intimacy and intensity. Byron Pang, as the troubled lover in Amphetamine, and Haze Leung, as a despondent policeman in Love Actually…Sucks, are especially noteworthy discoveries.

Both actors appeared in Scud’s 2013 film Voyage, an anthology of short films, all thematically linked by depression. The stories range in length and content as a psychiatrist (Ryo van Kooten) reflects on his patients, including Yuan (Byron Pang) who goes off to inner Mongolia as part of the Chinese re-education program; Ming (Haze Leung), a mentally disabled young man; and Sebastian (Sebastian Castro), an artist romantically involved with a young woman in the Netherlands.

While Voyage contained many elements from the director’s earlier work – the uninhibited nudity and distressing romantic entanglements – the film specifically addresses suicide and the afterlife from multiple perspectives. Voyage received an Artistic Achievement Award at the Chicago International Film Festival, where Scud was honored back in 2013. The film is only now getting a U.S. release on DVD, along with all of his earlier films.

Scud has since released two more films, Utopians (2015), and Thirty Years of Adonis (2017). He chatted with Film International about Voyage, his experiences with depression, his admiration for his actors, and his penchant for full nudity.

Voyage is a change of pace for you in that while it has some queer content, it is not an overtly queer or homoerotic film, unlike much your earlier work. Was there a reason you shifted your focus away from sexuality?

Everybody thinks I have a purpose, but it’s just a story I want to tell. City Without Baseball was an accident. I was still living in Australia, and I thought about becoming a filmmaker. One of my colleagues in my IT career was in charge of the promotion of the Hong Kong baseball team, and he wanted me to do a documentary. I thought it was better to make it a drama. So I did. Permanent Residence was more of my own story, and I wanted to make that film because it was in my heart and mind for years. That helped me reduce my depression.

So every film I make happens because the story is compelling to tell. People think I’m doing this to promote sexual equality, but that’s not my purpose. I have no political reasons. I just wanted to tell a story. I made Voyage because of my own depression. Samaritans is a British organization for suicide prevention in Hong Kong, and people there thanked me for making the film. They showed it to their clients. The film helped prevent suicide.

Can you talk about your interest in depicting romantic trauma, suicide, and mental illness?

ScudWhile I was making Amphetamine, I fell back into a wave of depression. It was a dark and sad movie, and I was sad making it. The character being raped by a few guys in a tunnel was a difficult scene to shoot, and my depression returned. After that I made Love Actually….Sucks!, and that was the end of my fantasy with love. That’s why I made the film, because for a long time I depended on passionate love to survive. I’m a very depressed person, and I tried to have some love to keep me going.

I am constantly standing on the edge of the cliff, and I could fall any time. But I want to live, so I tried to build some walls around me. I used to think that wall should be love and I tried that – but that’s the most unreliable wall on earth. If I leaned on that wall, I would fall. Now making films is my wall. That’s what keeps me going. As long as I have a project going on and have a story to tell, I will move on.

I had a bad experience making Amphetamine, despite the result. I like all of my films. Love Actually… Sucks! is one I like in particular. So I decided before I die, I should make a film about depression since I’m so well versed with it. I know my problems, and my friend’s problems, so I packaged them into a filmable format and made Voyage. All the stories were true stories.

What can you say about structuring Voyage as an anthology?

I make every film with the feeling it might be my last film. That’s always a possibility. Since it might be my last, I wanted to put as much as possible in it. For Voyage, everybody said I should tell one story and it would have a greater impact. Why dilute the impact with multiple stories? When I was writing Voyage, I just selected the stories I wanted to tell. I wanted to give different perspectives to depression. Voyage was the most difficult film for me to make. It took 3 years to shoot and because it was about depression, it brought me back to depression.

In Voyage, there is the story of the German lady, Leni. I met her when Amphetamine was screening in Berlin. She told me her story about the suicide of her mother, and if you recall that part of the film, after her mother died, her family was in a sad mood for years. She told me her story, and got her family to be in the film, too. Her father was her father, her sister was her sister, but we had a British actress playing her mother – since her mother wasn’t alive anymore. I wanted to present different places and time.

Voyage is your first film shot mostly in English and largely without dialogue. Can you discuss this decision?

It’s my first film in English because of the stories. Only the one with Ming is set in Hong Kong. The others are elsewhere in Asia and Europe. In all of my films, I let the actors speak their language at that time. Voyage was criticized for the English accents of my actors, but I made them speak as if they are in real life. The woman who plays the Filipino maid for Haze’s character can speak perfect English – better than I do. But I made her speak like a Filipino maid in Hong Kong. When audiences don’t hear what they are accustomed to, they think it’s a bad production. But I made them use their language as much as possible. I used English because they spoke in English. But they do speak English because they don’t know Cantonese. I’m trying to be realistic.

You work again with Haze Leung and Byron Pang, who you cast in key roles in earlier films. You also feature out actor-singer Sebastian Castro in Voyage. Can you talk about how you created roles for each actor?

I think one thing that kept me going is that I have luck with actors. I come across these guys and girls who are devoted to my work. I’m in debt to them. When I make a film, I just tell the story, with no purpose, as I said. But I do want the film to be successful to do my actors justice. For me, I don’t fucking care. I have no regrets, but the people who work for me and give their all, they don’t get the return they deserve – the recognition and fame. It makes me not sleep well.

Haze happened to be my assistant director. He graduated from film school and is very educated. He was in charge of casting Love Actually…Sucks! There were many cast members in that film because it has six stories. When he showed me the choices, there was one role I didn’t say anything about. He realized I was not satisfied with who he found for me. He asked me out for a drink. He said he knew I wasn’t satisfied with the casting for the Policeman, and he asked if he could do it. I had to change the script. He was an evil policeman, so the tone changed because of his participation. I gave him the role of Ming in Voyage.

Byron is the best actor I can find in Hong Kong. He’s so natural. I have to say I feel in love with him while shooting him. I was touched when my cameraman on Amphetamine, who is a straight, said, “I will make love to Byron with my camera.” I think he did. After Amphetamine, I invited Byron to work on Love Actually…Sucks!, but he had to pass on that, so I made him do Voyage, which I think his best performance. It is deeper and better than Amphetamine.

I met Seb when Amphetamine screened in Chicago. He came forward to sit in the first row and asked me a question at the Q&A after the screening. I was impressed, and when we left, I handed him my card. He told me he was an aspiring actor but had a problem with nudity. Whenever someone tells me he has a problem with nudity, it becomes my objective to strip him bare. After that, he moved to the Philippines, and he made successful [music] videos. He asked me to make his first video, but I declined.

Of course, we have to talk about the nudity in the film. Why do you focus so much on skin?

It has to go back to City Without Baseball. Before that, there was no male nudity in Asian cinema. There wasn’t that much nudity in City Without Baseball but it caused so much controversy. A gay forum online had a powerful article that was critical of my employment of nudity in the film. But I watched European directors – Pier Paolo Pasolini, Peter Greenaway, and Pedro Almodóvar – and there was so much nudity in their films. Asians have problems with male nudity especially. It made me angry and defiant. So, in Permanent Residence, the two leading men were unclothed throughout the film. That film was praised and people don’t talk about my nudity anymore. After that, you see more gay films and sex scenes; it’s almost mainstream now.

A famous actress in Japan came to me and did an interview after seeing Voyage in Japan. When she saw the nude scene of people walking into the sea, she was shocked at first. But then she realized how powerful it was; if they were clothed, that scene would not have so much impact on her. The first shots of Amphetamine featured Kafka (Byron Pang) standing on the edge of a roof about to jump. He is wearing only angels wing. Normally, he would have his briefs on, but I convinced the actor to drop them. When he watched it, Byron told me he knows why I insisted on him being naked. It makes such a difference.

I reckon my insistence on full nudity is because I’m a purist. Butts, tits, and penises are integral parts of a body. What’s an alien piece of cloth got to do with it? I honestly only find completely naked men sexy.

What can you say about the elements of ghosts and the afterlife in Voyage?

Voyage is a very special film, even from the others I’ve made. It took on a life of its own while I was making it. It evolved, and “talked” to me during shooting. I usually don’t improvise much. But this film took three years to make, and I found myself shooting more scenes about the afterlife. From what began as a study on depression, it became a film about the afterlife too. For every story I shoot, I have wondered what happens to the guys after they die. I have to really think about what would happen after death – to them, and to me. Will I see family and friends again? I had a very unique visualization of someone after his death. This is becoming more a theme of my films, especially in Thirty Years of Adonis, which is about the afterlife.

You end Voyage with the statement, “Film is like life.” Can you discuss that observation?

I didn’t study film. I had an IT career, and my social circle was with artists. My friends weren’t surprised, but the rest of the world was stunned that an IT guy became a filmmaker. Film has taken over my life and it’s given me a cause for everything I do. I can now tell my friends that they no longer have to worry about my depression as I still have films I want to make. So I will try to stay alive for as long as possible. It’s my lifetime passion, and it saved my life, and became my life. I’m so happy with my imagination that I am not afraid of death anymore because I know how I’m going to die: on a film set. Probably sitting on a chair examining a shot and having a heart attack. If I had to take my life myself I would try to decide on such a way that the death will help my film.

Voyage will screen at 7:30pm, Friday, March 23 at Plays & Players as the Centerpiece Screening of Philadelphia’s QFLIX.

Gary M. Kramer writes about film for Salon, Cineaste, Gay City News, Philadelphia Gay News, The San Francisco Bay Times, and Film International. He is the author of Independent Queer Cinema: Reviews and Interviews, and the co-editor of Directory of World Cinema: Argentina, Volumes 1 & 2.

( Originated from http://filmint.nu/?p=23662 )


藝行者全系列作品上架倫敦蘇豪區25年歷史成人生活店:Soho Originalshop,店家更特別安排作品放置在原為「任航」的當眼位置。任航是無可取代的先驅者, 我們也是。

These 12 Movies Exhibit Breathtaking Intimate Scenes Way Better Than Any Blue Film You’ll Ever Watch.

Did they do it or not? That’s the question you always wonder about after watching the intimate scenes in movies. Well, in this movie list the actors went ahead and really did it on screen. You surely don’t want your parents around while watching these films.

1. Dogtooth (2009).
Movies with intimate scenes via
Though at first you wouldn’t feel like this movie can have intimate scenes as the main theme is a father’s blinding love for his daughters, which compels him to lock away his three adolescent children. But stay with it and you will get the surprise.

2. 9 Songs (2004).
Movies with intimate scenes via
A musical journey of two longing souls, with the passion for live music. This kind of movies are for die hard romantics and what makes this movie even better are the intimate scenes and oral s**.

3. The Center Of The World (2001).
Movies with intimate scenes via
The theme can be quite similar to Pretty Woman. The main leads involve into a s**ual arrangement for three days of wild partying and s**. But gradually they fall prey to human emotions.

4. Love (2015).
Movies with intimate scenes via
This is the only sober picture I found where the three protagonists are in clothes. If you have a knack for threesomes, this movie is perfect to watch. It has above the par steamy intimate scenes and wait for plot twist when one of the girls get pregnant.

5. Lie With Me (2005).
Movies with intimate scenesvia
Once you start watching the movie you’ll realise it’s basically a porn with a lengthy story. Two youngsters burning with animalistic s**ual energy get involved in casual fling, but Leila is seen to struggle with her fear emotional intimacy.

6. The Brown Bunny (2003).
Movies with intimate scenes via
Some scenes of the movie became so controversial at the time that it ruined the acting career of imminent actress, Chloe Sevigny. Watch for yourself the uncensored scene of Chloe performing fellatio which created the stir.

7. The Dreamers (2003).
Movies with intimate scenes via
Some movies just leave a disturbing impact on our mind, specially when they show familial relations in an intimate dimension.

8. Nymphomaniac (2013).
Movies with intimate scenes via
It’s an European art film with a 5 hour duration. But trust me, unlike other art movies, this film based on s*x addiction and terrific acting, is a treat to the eyes.

9. Anatomy Of Hell (2004).
Movies with intimate scenes via
This movie is all about isolation and loneliness which compels a woman to pay a gay for s*xual pleasures. The intimate scenes are truly exciting to watch.

10. In The Realm Of Senses (1976).
Movies with intimate scenes via
Enticing, isn’t it? The title itself suggest how pleasurable and intimate the scenes would be. But wait for the end, when the Japanese actress cuts off her partner’s penis and testicles and carries them around in her kimono.

11. Love Actually….Sucks! (2011).
Movies with intimate scenes via
Does that remind you of a Romantic movie? Yes, the title is a funny wordplay of the film Love Actually. This Hong Kong movie is also based on complicated relationships, except this has a lot more steamy, intimate scenes.

12. Through The Looking Glass (1976).
Movies with intimate scenes via
No, this movie has nothing to do with ‘Alice In Wonderland’. Some movies really have weird concept. The female protagonist finds herself attracted to her mirror which arouses her s*xual desires.

Love Actually…Sucks! is honoured to be ranked alongside some great directors’ work, you can find the DVD and blu-ray in our online shop:

Film Club Utopia クラブ開幕日:2017年11月25日

Film Club Utopia(以下、本クラブ)は、東京南青山にございます。

監督ご本人の映画のみならず、彼の作品のアイディアや参考になる各国の映画も定期的に上映する予定です。 基本的には編集を入れていない原作映画の提供とし、原作の制作監督の理念及び真髄を忠実に再現したいと思っております。

本クラブの設立によって、ファンの皆様に今まで見るチャンスがなかなかなかった海外芸術映画を鑑賞でき、 さらに映画を通して映画好き同士の友人の輪を広げていただくことが最終目的であります。

本クラブは普段映画館で見られない映画の鑑賞だけではなく、ゆったりとお茶のできるスペースも設けておりますので、 映画以外にも興味の合う者同士知り合う場として楽しい一日を過ごしていただきたいと思っています。


Facebook: @filmclubutopia

影評/《三十儿立》如果結局已命中注定 你會選擇怎麼活?





其中男主角楊可(賀飛 飾演)不願接受有錢老男人提出的包養,放棄垂手可得的好生活,反而答應拍攝雜交情色片,導致自己被一群不認識的人無情侵犯,最後遍體鱗傷的倒在人去樓空的片場,讓人看了相當揪心。雖然有些人會覺得被包養和拍情色片沒有什麼兩樣,但就我所理解的楊可,對他來說被包養不只是出賣肉體,也是出賣了靈魂,反觀雖然是拍情色片,但離他想當演員的初衷仍算往前跨近一步,因此做出這樣的決定,誰能說他是錯的?


專訪/「被包裝的電影太多」 雲翔盼帶給觀眾最真實的作品







雲翔也透露,許多觀眾問他為什麼要讓男主角楊可(賀飛 飾演)下場這麼悲慘?他表示:「任何故事我們都可以把它講到尺度、深度沒有那麼大,但是我想那種被包裝、淡化、溫和的詩情的電影已經太多了,我想我能帶給世界電影的是可以做最直接、最赤裸裸、最深刻的刻畫。」

三十ㄦ立,雲翔,賀飛,ERIC EAST,肉便器,同志,電影 ID-1083788

對於電影、藝術、佛教思想侃侃而談的雲翔,其實一直到30歲前都是從事IT產業,「我一直都認為我活不到30歲,然後突然間30歲了,又覺得一事無成,所以決定做一些事情去證明自己,就算失敗,也算是一種解脫我心裡面的事情。」因此雲翔毅然決然成立了「藝行者獨立電影公司」(Artwalker Limited),但後面幾年卻因經營困難,讓他再度跌入憂鬱症的深淵,可是現在回想起來,這些經驗都變成了之後拍攝電影裡不多缺少的素材。


情慾大片卻隱藏人生道理 30男全裸演「三十ㄦ立」


香港導演雲翔的第七號作品「三十ㄦ立」,於15日全台上映,片中遊走台灣、香港、澳門、泰國四地拍攝,透過藏傳佛教生命觀,詮釋作品中恆見的死生、宿命、享樂、慾望等主題,並找來傳奇女星邵音音與苗可秀、李蕙敏領銜主演關鍵角色,還有知名GV男優 Eric East、「雲男神」賀飛,外加30位中港台男演員集結而成。









原文鏈接 http://www.setn.com/E/News.aspx?NewsID=295727