Out director Scud is part of a new wave of film auteurs who makes stylish,, sexually explicit, often violent but character driven films. Born in China, Scud has produced, written and directed four films in four years. At Qfest he looked more like an international star than a director, presenting his last two features- “Amphetamine” and “Love Actually…Sucks“which was premiering at the festival because of censorship in Asia.
Scud admitted to a few drinks at Tavern on Camac, but held a lively talk with the audience after the screening. Later, I got a chance to speak to him for a few more minutes.
“ I was a little disappointed that “Amphetamine” was not sold out. Because it has been doing so well at the other festivals, but the audience response was overwhelming and I was happy that we sold out “Love Actually“last night.
“Amphetamine” starts with a naked man on the ledge of a building and “ Love” starts at a wedding where the bride shows a celebratory film that includes the groom having oral sex with another man. It gets bawdier from there, even though in both cases the sexual content is so natural showing the sexual lives of his characters as well as their social and family lives. Because, or despite that, he is censored in China
Although both films have completely different cinematic looks with a lot of outdoor locations and elaborate effects. Scud shot Love in 19 days, but there was a year of postproduction. “Depending on the content and the story I want to tell. I will try to find the best person to do it. Even for music, it depends.” Along with high concept cinematography, the director is very careful with the music and sound effects he uses for his movies. In fact, he said he wish he would have been a composer.
The filmmaker is just starting to take “Love“ on the circuit. The film is a mash of characters plots overlapping ala Robert Altman. “The Hong Kong audiences are looking forward to “Love Actually.” I have the biggest line-up for my films, even with censorship. If I give in enough, I can still screen it. I was born in China in 1966, when there was a huge change there, I moved to Hong Kong, after Mao died, because my mother was a citizen there. I don‘t mean to be a Chinese filmmaker- or not a Chinese filmmaker- this is a universal language. ”
Scud (his name meaning swift moving in Chinese) he has won awards in Hong Kong, his films face censorship there. “Hong Kong is become more and more conservative. That has more impact on the censorship. We were the most open society in Asia. That is changing” but he said, “His films “don’t have much political content.” even though the social backdrop in Amphetamine’s central gay love story is the international financial crisis set off by the 2008 US stock market crash and Obama election.
Scud told the audience that his many overlapping stories could be confusing to American audiences “several people have told me they preferred “Amphetamine” because it focuses on one story. I wanted to tell many stories with “Love Actually…Sucks“, but it becomes more demanding on the audiences. But…I had so many stories to tell with this subject.“