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Taiwanese director Tsai Ming-liang not ready to give up film

2013/10/02 19:24:26

Taipei, Oct. 2 (CNA) Winning the Venice Film Festival's Grand Jury Prize and five nominations at this year's Golden Horse Awards seems to have returned a smile to the face of Taiwanese director Tsai Ming-liang, who hinted Wednesday he is not done with filmmaking.

"Making feature films is very tiring ... I hope my life is not so tiring. But I won't stop creating," the Malaysian-born director told reporters after a press conference in Taipei to celebrate his victory at the Venice Film Festival last month with his film "Stray Dogs."

Tsai was responding to a question of whether "Stray Dogs" could be his last film, which is what he announced at the Italian festival.

Looking animated, the 55-year-old said he is content and happy with his life lately as he is now making films for himself, instead of for his audience.

He said he has never been happier when making an ongoing short film series that he started two years ago, featuring actor Lee Kang-sheng walking at an extremely slow pace in different places. Tsai said the filmmaking process is spontaneous and unscripted.

"I will keep this attitude and if after 10 years I start making feature films again, I might not even write a script," he said.

Tsai, who has refused to make commercial films, has long expressed frustration over popular tastes.

After years of struggling at the box office, the director said he is now trying something new -- cooperating with museums and art galleries to screen his films -- instead of relying solely on movie theaters.

In addition to Taiwan, Tsai said museums in China and Hong Kong have also expressed interest in screening his films.

To support the director, Culture Minister Lung Ying-tai, who attended the press conference and presented Tsai with a NT$2.5 million (US$84,845) reward for his victory, said her ministry will discuss the possibility of screening Tsai's films at the museums and galleries under its administration.

"Stray Dogs" is scheduled to hit the screens in Taiwan next summer.

The film stars Lee Kang-sheng, a regular in Tsai's films, as a father struggling to survive with his son and daughter on the streets of Taipei. It maintains the slow pace that often typifies Tsai's works, including a 12-minute scene showing Lee eating rotten vegetables.

The film is the director's first film since his 2009 production "Face," which was nominated for a Cannes Film Festival award.

(By Christie Chen)