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Cheng Yu-Chieh

Do over

movie posterJimmy Milanese (JM): Alla 21° Settimana internazionale della critica Cheng Yu-Chieh (Taiwan) presenta Yi Nian Zhi Chu — Do over. Cheng, this is a quite complex cut for you very first movie. Could you explain us where the idea come from?

Cheng Yu Chien (CYC): The idea comes from many different places and, so to say, it comes from friends.

JM: It’s a story about past, present and future. Young people looking for a new identity. This process comes never to an end. Your movie never reveals a clearly-cut identity.

CYC: Yes, I agree, this is my movie, without identity, as in my personal case. My father is from Japan and my mother is Taiwanese. There is a mixture of identities in my family, always at least two cultures. Therefore, identity is a natural issue in my life. I have been looking for a comfortable way of living, therefore, this way I’m trying to tell such kind of stories.

movie's scene

JM: It seems that in your story no one really wants to listen people’s story. There is a group of people completely disconnected from reality, isn’t it?

CYC: Yes, I don’t know why it comes so unrealistic. There is a clear distance between reality and people in my story. When the distance is too far, maybe I could bore people, however, I was looking for a good distance. I like realistic movies, the neo-realism school, to be more precise. Indeed, when I had to make my own film, I tried to be focused on such kind of appropriate distance. Indeed, I think next movie will be more closed to reality.

JM: There are many remarkable things in your movie, in particular there is a specific plot, I would like to step back. At a certain point a guy says “What matter in life, what really matter in life?” He keeps on asking this question. Indeed, what matter in life, according your point of view?

CYC: It’s to live on…

JM: Maybe to make another movie

CYC: Yes, to have hope. I’m looking for the meaning of living, to live on, to be more precise. I don’t have wise answers I can make sure. Maybe many people are like me, they are just looking for the true meaning of life. Maybe we want to find out something we don’t know and will never know. These days I’m simple glad to be alive and to be here with you. Indeed, when you meet a girl, for example, when you feel something is growing in your hearth and you are loved in return, you think “that is my heaven”. I have this kind of feelings now, in my live.

Immagine articolo Fucine MuteJM: About love. There is a particular perspective through which you investigate the meaning of “Love” in your movie. Quite unusual, as far as the Italian culture is concerned.

CYC: Really? This can be easily applied to the Taiwanese culture as well. I mean, love is one of the most ambiguous concept, feeling or word. There are different kinds of love in this world. Love is always different; love is difference. When two people feel in the same way, their life is close enough and in someway they become more similar. However, you cannot completely understand other people, even if you feel this warmness, the same temperature of your feelings. This is what I tried to make in my cinema. Cinema is about love, but always in different ways. You express your mind, and everyone feel it in different ways.

JM: It is sure that you love this art. You have experienced the two sides of this art: acting and directing. Which one of the two jobs you prefer more’

CYC: For me it is the same, I cannot say which one is my favourite art. It’s just a different way of telling the story, but the same story. Only the point of view is different; not the message. Of course, when I act, this is more enjoyable, as this is close to the script. In some way you become the character and you can live other people’s live. Indeed, when I have to act, this move becomes a documentary, as I’m interpreting human being’s live. The experience is between action and cut, but in between I’m there. When I direct, I can admit that the job is different. The bitterness is different and sweetness as well. I have to share my dreams and ideas with many other people; I have to tell the story with the help of other. This is the main difference.

JM: I have noted that there is a lot of originality in your movie. This is amazing, as it seems there is no clear reference to other directors’ work. Indeed, I’m sure your work draws from other masters, for example, as you mentioned in the press conference, you like the Italian director Gabriele Tornatore.

CYC: His movies are warming. You can smile and cry at the same time, as in the movie Nuovo Cinema Paradiso. This movie… I saw it when I was very young. I really felt something amazing, as I cried and smiled at the same time, and this made me feel alive. This was a magic touching moment in my life. I also love Coureda, a famous Japanese director. He shouted a film called Distance. He always put distance between his work and reality, but his is not as a way to escape from reality. It’s a marvellous distance, I think.

Cheng Yu Chien JM: Plans for the future

CYC: Not yet, I need to learn more and look into myself, maybe deeper. In my film I experimented many languages, and I found out something. This is why I have to think over with my family and my friends. In two years time maybe I will have new minds stories… there are so many in my computer. Indeed, I need first to refresh my mind and we will see what will happen.

JM: We wish you all the best for the future.


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