To help promote their latest film, Help Me Eros (幫幫我愛神), Lee Kang-sheng (李康生) and Tsai Ming-liang (蔡明亮) have taken to the streets - they've embarked on a tour around Taiwan, giving lectures at universities that are free and open to the general public.
Tsai and Kang are both major figures in Taiwanese New Wave cinema. Tsai has directed eight-feature length films, all starring Kang, and he was executive producer for Kang's 2003 directorial debut, The Missing (不見). Help Me Eros, to be released on Jan. 11 in Taiwan, is Kang's follow-up to The Missing. Tsai is again contributing as executive producer.
Help Me Eros tells the tale of Ah Jie (Kang), a broke and destitute man who spends his days tending the marijuana plants he grows in a wardrobe. The stoner calls a hotline for help and gets to know Chyi (Liao Hui-chen, 廖慧珍), whom he falls in love with. Chyi repeatedly rejects Ah Jie, so he hits on Shin (Ivy Yi, 尹馨), a "betel nut beauty" who has a stall near his apartment.
Though Kang and Tsai's works regularly show at the world's most prestigious film festivals and draw comparisons to French New Wave films of the 1950s and 1960s, they rarely meet with box office success.
To promote Eros, Kang and Tsai have sold tickets to pedestrians in the Ximending shopping zone (西門町) and at Shilin Night Market (士林夜市).
The lectures are in Chinese and feature a showing of the trailer to Help Me Eros, a lecture by both Kang and Tsai and a question-and-answer session.
Today from 3pm to 5pm they'll be at National Chengchi University (政治大學) and from 7pm to 9pm at National Taiwan University of Arts (台灣藝術大學). On Wednesday from 1pm to 3pm they'll be at National Hsinchu University of Education (新竹教育大學) and from 5pm to 7pm at Chung Yuan Christian University (中原大學).
Further information can be found at bloguide.ettoday.com/helpmeeros.