Interview with Alex Law and Mabel Cheung

Interviewer Ed Farolan

xI met with Mabel Cheung who directed Tale of Three Cities and Alex Law, her husband, who scripted the film. They just got in from TIFF . They are now Canadians. They left Hong Kong like many others when it was taken over by mainland China.

Many of their films dealt with migration because of this, and they mentioned that their latest film dealing with Jackie Chan's parents who escaped mainland China during the communist takeover was a result of interviews with them. Jackie told them one day, "Let's go to Australia and you can interview them there. And know a secret."

Jackie's father worked as a cook with the Australian ambassador in Hong Kong, and this was shown in the film. When the ambassador left for Australia, he took him along with his wife and Jackie who was already born in Hong Kong.

A documentary of these interviews was done by Alex, and I told him I might in the future do a review to link the film of Mabel which is semi-fictionalized.

I asked Mabel how she was able to capture the mid-20th century authenticity of the locales in her film, and she said that thanks to the her Art director who was able to find locales in Anhui, Shanghai and Hong Kong that fit the time period. Alex also mentioned a scene where a bird had to be perched on an actor's shoulder and they had to capture the shot correctly because the bird kept on getting away.

This was an interesting 30 minute interview, as interesting as the film which, I believe, will win an award here in Vancouver.

Interview with King Palisoc

Interviewer Ed Farolan

xKing Palisoc makes his debut as a feature film director with Tandem. He has won a number of awards as a music video filmmaker and worked on several commercials in the Philippines.

After doing a short film, Bang Bang Alley, which had three stories, one of which was a 30-minute episode directed by him, he was then asked by the producers of Tandem to direct this full feature film.

This film has already screened recently at the MIFF (Montreal International Film Festival) and will soon screen at the Cairo InternationalFilm Festival and hopefully, he said, it will be screened in some film festivals in the USA.

Palisoc did a Bachelors degree in Communications at Ateneo University in the Philippines, and afterwards worked on music videos and commercials before doing Tandem. He said that some critics commented that he sided with the Tandem thieves because there was almost an empathy that exuded from the emotional attachment of the Tandem brothers. However, he said, he was just being objective to the fact that this criminal situation exists. In fact, a lot of footage used in the film were from YouTube and news stories about Tandem crimes in Metro Manila.

He hopes he can get publicity from the Filipino community when he goes to the Q & A session today and tomorrow when his film is to be screened at Cinematheque. Just like Michael Red who won Best New Director for his film Rekorder last year, King Palisoc is another emerging film director who will make his mark not only in Philippine Cinema but globally as well.

© 2015 Ed Farolan