"The White Girl" is a movie co-directed by Jenny Suen and veteran cinematographer Christopher Doyle . We got the chance to talk with Jenny about the movie and Christopher also shared some film photos of the main lead Angela , taken with the LC-Wide , Fisheye and the Lomokino cameras .
Can you tell us the story of the movie?
It's a love story set in the last fishing village of Hong Kong about a white girl who is allergic to the sun.
How did the idea of "The White Girl" came out? Anything that inspired you?
Hong Kong... I came back after 8 years of living abroad (Philadelphia/New York/LA)... I looked outside my bedroom window and saw that the fishing village I grew up next to had changed. The fishermen were all gone. The boats float idle. It was disappearing. 250 years ago Hong Kong was not a city; it was a fishing village. And with all that's happened in Hong Kong (the city) the last few years, it seems that a future in which the city might meet the same fate may not seem so far away.
What qualities does the Angela Yuen has that made her perfect for being the white girl (main lead)?
I looked for The White Girl for years. I needed a girl who could play sixteen, with white skin, and speak perfect Cantonese... and of course can act. When I met Angela a year or two ago, within 5 minutes, I knew I found the person I was looking for. At the time, she hadn't really acted before, but to me, a star is someone who shines from the inside, not because of the (artificial) light we shine on them. They don't "act," they just "are." She was like that.
Is there a reason why you chose Joe Odagiri as the male lead?
Joe is an actor of great talent and humility. That's very rare. I looked for "Sakamoto" (his character's name) for years also. I knew Joe had taken lots of creative risks, worked with the greatest auteurs of East Asian cinema, and liked to travel. We wanted an actor to play an outsider looking in on the fishing village... so we had to look outside of Hong Kong.
As Joe is a Japanese actor, was there anything interesting happened due to cultural differences in the shoot?
I grew up between Cantonese and English. So cinema to me is a language I learned to escape feeling unmoored in this translated world. Images are universal, everyone understands them. Joe understands a little bit of English, so it made me express only what is essential.
Jeff Yiu (actor) is really young, what do you think about him?
Jeff Yiu is a very serious actor and precocious child. When I met him he said his dream was to win "Best Actor" at the Hong Kong Film Awards. At the time he had never acted in a film before. By the time we started shooting, he had already acted alongside Andy Lau! He was the only actor on set who would ever ask to look at rushes to review his performance. He knew his way around a set better than I did!
You have been staying in Tai O and Chung Chau for nearly a month, have you discovered anything exceptional about these places? Also, anything that you will miss when you go back to the city?
The tranquillity and sense of community. I always wanted to be the kind of director who creates a whole world for the audience to travel to... the eye has to travel... so the spaces of Tai O and Cheung Chau gave me the elements to create a "Jenny Suen" world... with its own sounds and textures and melancholy. I guess I miss living in a world of my own creation (with my cast and crew) for a month. Now I'm back to "reality."
Do you have any upcoming projects you would like to share with us?
Still a secret... but think all the Lomography community will be pleased it also stars Angela Yuen.
For more information about the movie "The White Girl", you can go to their official Facebook Page or you can watch the trailer here . "The White Girl" will be on theatre on 14th Dec, 2017 in Hong Kong.