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 HKCinemagic 2

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Interview Gordon Chan, from The Big Heat to A-1
A-1 Headlines, Anthony Wong 1/1 - Page 11
Author(s) : Thomas Podvin
David Vivier
Date : 13/1/2005
Type(s) : Interview
 Intext Links  
People :
Rico Chung Kai Cheong
Eric Kot Man Fai
Angelica Lee Sum Kit
Tony Leung Ka Fai
Johnnie To Kei Fung
Anthony Wong Chau Sang
Movies :
Beast Cops
Breaking News
< Previous
Page 10 : Beast Cops, Anthony Wong, Michael Wong
Next >
Page 12 : Project 1:99, SARS

HKCinemagic: Can you tell us about your involvement on A-1Headlines?
Gordon Chan: I wrote the film. The original story wasn’t about newspaper headlines at all. This is a very real experience. My colleague, Chung Kai Cheong, the co-director, came up with a story about lawyers. He came to me and asked for my help. I was supposed to be producing. And I tried to produce that film, but along the way, he changed topics from a lawyer to a journalist. And I started to put a lot of inputs in there. One day Chung just came to me and said: “Why don’t we shot it together? Plus you have a lot of ideas in your mind, why don’t you show us?” This was such a small movie. I told him they won’t manage to pay me. But then maybe I could cut down my salary because I really liked the script. So I started shooting the story. There were four drafts and this film as it is was the final draft. The first two were all about lawyers.


Poster of A-1

HKCinemagic: Why the switch in focus from lawyers to journalists?
Gordon Chan: The news have a big following. You don’t go to court very often, but you read newspapers everyday. And also, the media nowadays is going down a dangerous path. Let’s just say that they have a turbulent behaviour. There are media everywhere, I think media workers are kind of uneasy. I mean what are they doing? What you learn from university doesn’t apply here. They hardly know how to behave anymore. [Here,] I consider that notorious part of the media [Ed.: Paparazzi have had an increasingly bad reputation in HK and sometimes justified].

There were a couple of instances in the past couple of year that led me to turn the film about newspapers. The first one was actually the assassination of Deng Xiaoping in Taiwan [Ed.: He said "Deng Xiaoping," but we found no news about it], which was such a good story. Because I was in Taiwan at the time. So was he really assassinated or was it just a myth? And then I saw the process of the media trying to dug up the facts. How they did it and how people were thinking about that. Everybody was writing stories [about this event]. All kinds of stories.

HKCinemagic: So were they telling the truth?
Gordon Chan: No, in fact, I am telling you, they were never able to tell the truth [the true story]. Then what? Are we going to give up facts, are we going to give up truth then? I guess that was the drive for me to say “fine, we are not going to get the facts anyway.” [I felt I also] needed to [help] change our attitude towards the media too instead of trusting the newspaper like a bible. How are we going to trust the newspapers, how are we going to trust the TV?
HKCinemagic: One needs to use one’s critical mind and sense of judgement.
Gordon Chan: Yes, now it’s up to you guys, everybody. 20 years ago we all gave the responsibilities to journalists, to editors [to give us the truth]. It is not such an easy job nowadays. So that what was A1 was about.
HKCinemagic: What you are saying reminds me of Johnnie To’s Breaking News, when the media come in between gangsters and the police. It’s a power struggle. Who controls the media has the power.
Gordon Chan: Yes. And this is bad. That was part reason why I wrote A-1, I wanted everybody to seat in the media guy seat. You don’t sale, you won't be able to write anything more. The same thing applies to films, to other media.
HKCinemagic: Did you see a difference between Anthony Wong in Beast Cops and in A-1.
Gordon Chan: Ah ah, I have to say this is one the toughest films that Anthony Wong had to do, because I was asking him not to do anything but to [interiorise].


Anthony Wong, the eye of the typhoon

HKCinemagic: But he is a very introvert person actually.
Gordon Chan: Yes, exactly and this is where it’s tough. All these characters are revolving around him: Eric Kot (smiling), Tony Leung Ka Fai, even Angelica Lee Sin Jie. They are all very busy, they have a lot to do [in the scenes]. And like I said, Anthony was like the eye of a typhoon, everybody was running around but he needed to stay still. If he ran around with them I would have lost my centre. But it is very tempting for him to act more, because everybody was stealing the limelight. In fact, that what was happening: Both Leung Kar Fai and Eric Kot were nominated for the Golden Horse Awards [as Best Supporting Actors], but not Anthony.
HKCinemagic: He wasn’t nominated despite the fact it was very hard work for him.
Gordon Chan: Yes. But I think he knows and he understands what he stands for. And it’s not easy. I really appreciated Anthony just staying there and while shooting together with Chung we really appreciated he was the guy staying there and seeing wave and wave of takes and still didn’t budge. You see his expression when Leung was in his face at the end and he was so calm. It wasn’t easy. That’s what a good actor is.


Tony Leung shouting at Anthony Wong

Page :  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11   12  13  Top
Previous :
Page 10 : Beast Cops, Anthony Wong, Michael Wong
Next :
Page 12 : Project 1:99, SARS

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