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Taiwanese director Liang to release movies at art museums

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KOLKATA:  Taiwanese director, Tsai Ming Liang, who participated in the 20th Kolkata International Film Festival that kicked off last Monday, declared that his movies going forward will be screened in art museums where it would not compete with commercial and Hollywood movies.

Also, the director talking about the freedom of film makers said that a movie is majorly controlled by financers, distributors and the demands of the viewers, leaving the director with no independence.

“Henceforth I shall release my movies at art museums where they won’t have to compete with commercial and Hollywood movies,” said Liang, talking about his films and cinema in general in front of a heavily packed auditorium.

He nostalgically also shared experiences of his childhood and mentioned how the political situation in Malaysia did not allow him to watch European films. It was only possible once he migrated to Taiwan which became a democratic nation at around the same time.

With such a change in political climate, several international film festivals were arranged which introduced him to directors like Jean-Luc Godard and Francois Truffaut.

To him, the final frozen frame of ‘The 400 Blows’ raised more questions than it answered and was a major cinematic moment in his life, he added.

While talking about filmmaking as a practice, he said that the foremost question a filmmaker should ask is, “why am I making films?” When asked about the long duration of his shots, he defended them by saying that they are a representation of his own time. In most films objectification of the subject obliterates time.

However, he wants to remove the object so the viewer is aware of the flow of time.

When speaking about the casting of his films, he mentioned that he always casts an individual and not an actor. He discovers his actors in their moments of solitude. He found Lee Kang Sheng when he was riding his bike, he concluded.

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