Last night I went to a promotional event at NTU for the soon to be released Taiwanese film Help Me Eros (幫幫我愛神). There was a screening of a documentary about the the Venice Film Festival and also the movie's trailer. Then there was a discussion session featuring the producer Tsai Ming-liang (蔡明亮), director and actor Lee Kang-sheng (李康生) and actor Fanny.
The new film Help Me Eros is sure to attract a lot of attention because it features betel nut beauties. The trailer looks colorful and erotic, but the movie deals with some dark and difficult themes.
Lee Kang-sheng said the movie, which he wrote, directed and acted in, is something he had been working on for over ten years. It deals with some themes that Taiwanese society has difficulty talking about like betel nut beauties and marijuana. He originally wanted to interview people for a documentary about these topics, but found people were unwilling because they were worried about the reaction from their families.
Tsai Ming-liang gave a fascinating talk about some of his thoughts regarding film making in Taiwan. He noted in 1999 he felt very disillusioned with the direction Taiwanese society was heading and he left Taiwan for a year. When he came back to Taiwan in 2000/2001 he had an experience where he saw a betel nut beauty in Taoyuan that inspired him to make films about Taiwan again.
He said that the image being used in the movie poster has attracted criticism from some women. However, similar images can be found in Ximending and other places in Taiwan but they are never even commented on. The purpose is to promote discussion.
Fanny from 女F4 is in the photo above. She makes her acting debut in the movie along with the other members of 女F4. Promoting a movie is hard work. Take a look at Tsai Ming-liang's blog which shows that after the event at NTU they went to Shi-Da night market to sell more tickets for the movie.
* Help Me Eros (幫幫我愛神) will be released in Taiwan on 11 January 2008.