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 HKCinemagic 2

Statistics :
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Interview Lawrence Lau on Besieged City and City Without Baseball
City Without Baseball 2/2 - Page 3
Author(s) : Arnaud Lanuque
Date : 28/4/2008
Type(s) : Interview
 Intext Links  
People :
Lawrence Ah Mon
Monie Tung Man Lee
Movies :
City Without Baseball
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Page 2 : Lawrence Lau (co-director)
Interview conducted by Arnaud Lanuque in Hong Kong April 28th, 2008.

Translation into English by Lea Yeung and into French by Arnaud Lanuque

At the HKIFF, Arnaud Lanuque met scripwriter and co-director Scud. They discussCity Without Baseball.

interview with the scriptwriter and co-director scud

HKCinemagic : Do you have an interest into Baseball yourself and what motivated you to use it for your film?
Scud : Why use baseball? It’s a coincidence. When I was little, I liked reading baseball comic books. [Now] I like to watch baseball but I don’t play it. My friend worked at Baseball Association and once asked me to film a promotional short film. As I was doing the research, I realised I have enough stories and characters to make a movie. Here we are.
HKCinemagic : The movie has a lot of nude scenes. Why?
Scud : This is the question I’m often asked by Hong Kong people. In the past 20 years, Hong Kong movies have gotten in a strange era. Actresses have become prudish, they cry when asked to show their bare shoulders; actors have lost their bottom on screen as soon as they remove all their clothes… I think what truly belongs to ourselves is our body. Therefore, in most of the artistic works people won’t have their clothes on. These players have great figures. They have been playing baseball 5 days a week for 10 to 20 years, these bodies were trained since they were 8 or 10 years old and they look good, like a piece of art. As they don’t mind to show it, I have no reason to mind to shoot them, I hope people won’t mind to watch too! But I will try to continue to make films like that.
HKCinemagic : Can you tell us what you kept from reality and what you created yourself?
Scud : The relationships between the players were portrayed quite like reality, but the girlfriends were matched by me. Originally, the real girlfriend of one of the character would have been in the movie, but they split up before I started to film. Gia Lin replaced her. His ex-girlfriend was a real exchange student of Tsinghua University though.

The girlfriend of Ah Dong is played by Monie Tung, I don’t know if they will really get together. It seemed that they were a bit turned on after the movie. But her character is kind of made-up. I’ve put my own feelings in it – sometimes people are so exhausted that we need to find a reason to live.

The coach has even more girlfriend in reality. His girlfriend in his real love life is really a mandarin speaker.

As for the matches, like in the movie, in the Asian Cup end 2004, they lost a match to Pakistan early by a very close score 6-8. They were a little upset and wondered why they had so little esteem for themselves. Then they won two important matches against Indonesia and Thailand. The Hong Kong team had never won a match against them. They were hyper happy and thought they were going to win the cup. Down to the last match against Sri Lanka, the weakest team, they lost from the beginning due to fatigue and some mistakes on the strategy, even they tried desperately to save it, they didn’t manage. They won so heroically but lost so miserably finally.

HKCinemagic : You make a very good use of popular songs in the film. And you also make direct references to dead famous Canto Pop singers. What did you want to achieve with that?
Scud :They are all my favourite songs from my favourite singers. I just tried to put those which went with the story. I guess you notice that the team members sing some songs themselves? In fact they can sing. For instance, Ah Chun has gone to be a scriptwriter in ATV after playing in this movie, he sings and plays guitar very well. Jacky is a singer of an underground band. He sings Danny Chan’s "When I Think of You" so well that my friends thought it was Danny Chan. Jason looks very decent; he has signed with a record and company and formed his band. They seem to have some potential in performing. I have picked the songs I liked but not too popular. The special one may be "Dream Partner", it appears twice. The lyrics tell two opposites sides of a story. The first part is happy, about a young couple playing. The second part is despairing, talking about someone falling from top to bottom. It corresponds to the mentality of the character who has lost everything.
HKCinemagic : What about the song sung by the team?
Scud : It is their team anthem. Each time we go drink together, they must sing the song. When the song first came out, they just lost a match. The song expressed very well their mood of that moment, they like singing it. What inspired me to decide to write this movie was when they told me about losing the match against Sri Lanka. They cried after losing the match and they cried when telling me about it. I was touched a lot. That song is quite right for the movie.
HKCinemagic : How did you share the directorial duties with Lawrence Lau?
Scud : All the picture compositions and angles choices were made by him. Me, I did my job as interpreting the script and communicating with the players, we all know they were not professional actors, they were professional baseball players.
HKCinemagic : You left the film ending quite open.
Scud : Yeah, there is not a distinct ending. Like life, there’s no solution to all of our problems. The story goes on, we don’t know how it ends. We can imagine many different possibilities for all the characters.
HKCinemagic : The title is very intriguing but also a bit misleading as Hong Kong is a city with Baseball, can you explain it?
Scud : The "Without baseball" has another meaning - this group of people is doing something not many people are doing, something even unknown to most of the people. But in reality, we have people like them in Hong Kong. I hope Hong Kong is not just a materialistic society. We can pay more attention to people who are working on something unappealing, support their development.
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Page 2 : Lawrence Lau (co-director)

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