Fri, Feb 20, 2009 - Page 17 News List

Marriage: it’s a word, not a sentence

Promising documentary maker Wuna Wu’s latest film finds merit in the social institution of matrimony

By Ho Yi  /  STAFF REPORTER

VIEW THIS PAGE Woman: “I am getting married on Sept. 30.”

Man: “Congratulations!”

Woman: “But I am short of a groom … I pick you.”

Man: “Me? No! … The fortune-teller said I can’t get married this year.”

Just one of many colloquies between couples in Let’s Fall in Love (尋情歷險記) that had the audience laughing out loud at the film’s press screening.

After dealing with schizophrenia in Echo (快不快樂四人行, 2002) and the loss of a loved one in Farewell 1999 (再會吧一九 九, 2003), Let’s Fall sees promising documentary filmmaker Wuna Wu (吳汰紝) tackling marriage, a subject matter that seems, at first glance, mundane.

The project sprung from the director’s sense of urgency. Being an intellectually and financially independent city gal who yearns for love but is unable to hold down a stable relationship, Wu found herself heartbroken after a breakup at the age of 30, and the seven wedding invitations she received didn’t help much to alleviate the pain. Then she met Helen Chen (陳海倫), a happily married musician and head of a consulting company who dabbles in matchmaking as a hobby and has successfully hitched up 20 couples over the past five years.

Chen the matchmaker is the star of this documentary, dispensing advice — such as “love and romance come not before but after the marriage” — that contemporary relationship experts might deride as old wives tales. Through Wu’s intimate lens and her heartfelt friendship with the couples featured in the film, the characters feel like next-door neighbors.

First up is Irene, a professional middle-aged woman who pursues love a decade after her first marriage failed.

For Vivian and Jason, love came at first sight, but the two can’t stop screaming at each other the day after their wedding.

FESTIVAL NOTES:

LET’S FALL IN LOVE (尋情歷險記)

DIRECTED BY: WUNA WU (伶汰紝)

STARRING: WUNA WU AS HERSELF; HELEN CHEN (陳海倫)

AS HERSELF; IRENE CHEN (陳愛娟) AS HERSELF;

JOHNSON SHIH (施政 ) AS HIMSELF

RUNNING TIME: 90 MINUTES

LANGUAGE: IN MANDARIN WITH CHINESE AND ENGLISH SUBTITLES

TAIWAN RELEASE: SHOWING


The most inspiring story of all is that of Cube, a 28-year-old zhai nan (宅男), or homebody, and CC, a 40-year-old maid, who finds marriage to be a blessed escape from solitary life.

Looking amusingly serious behind his nerdy black-framed glasses, Cube’s candor in front of the camera when he describes how his desire exploded made the director laugh so hard she could barely hold the camera straight.

Wu doesn’t try to make big points or explore deep emotions. Marriage is viewed as something that needs work and a social institution that does have its merits — people share, learn from past mistakes and find true happiness.

Though the cinematography is rough and the narrative uneven, the documentary amounts to a heartwarming essay on matrimony and mixes a sense of humor with personal intimacy and empathy, which is underscored when the director puts herself in the firing line as she asks Chen to help her find a partner.

Wu is seeking investors to bankroll the film’s release nationwide. After two months, 100 people have come forward, each investing NT$10,000. This has enabled the film to be screened in Hsinchu City and Taipei City.

Wu’s goal is to attract a total of 500 investors and roll out the film across the country.

Let’s Fall in Love screens for one week at the Majestic Theater (真善美戲院) in Ximending starting today. For more information, call (02) 8712-6080 or e-mail theviewart[at]gmail.com.VIEW THIS PAGE

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