The award winning film maker Liew Seng Tat tells theSun about his latest film project The Girl With No Head and gave sneak preview what we can expect from his film.
Headline : A Penchant For The Bizarre
Sometimes the dead don’t stay dead. They return as zombies. That’s the premise for The Girl with No Head, an upcoming film from award winning director Liew Seng Tat, who wrote and directed 2014’s Lelaki Harapan Dunia.
The Chinese-language comedy-drama, which begins shooting next year, is about a murdered woman who has her head severed. Her headless body begins walking around town in search of her lost head – as well as to settle her unfinished business – all before her body rots away.
“The film will have a lot of dry humour,” says Liew, who is still fine-tuning the script he co-wrote with Amand Eu.
For almost three years, Liew has been working with French make-up artist Bernard Floch to create a prosthetic head and body for the project.
“Filmmaking is all about collaborations,” Liew says.
“Getting the right people to work with you is important. You have to [rely] on their abilities and experience to make a good film.” Recently, Floch was in town to meet up with Liew, and also to get ready a prosthetic head and upper torso for a test shoot. Liew was extremely happy with the final product, saying:
“Everyone who saw the prosthetic was impressed. The company doing the CGI for the prosthetic put the head and torso together in their meeting room.
“[People] who entered the room got a jolt because it looked so real.”
Floch, who has more than 20 years of experience in makeup and prosthetics, has worked on numerous feature films and commercials in his native France as well as in the United States, Europe, North America and Australia. Some of the more famous films he has worked on include the Julia Roberts-led Eat Pray Love, the 2006 historical drama Marie Antoinette, French comedy drama The Concert, and French- German fantasy film Holy Motors. “Holy Motors happens to be one of my favourite films,” Liew says. “I’m thrilled to be working with the man who is a part of my favourite film.”
Liew first contacted Floch in 2013 to recruit him for the project, but at the time, Floch did not think much about the idea for the film. However, after Liew showed Floch Lelaki Harapan Dunia, Floch decided to work with him.
“I really like the style Liew had used to tell his story,” he says.
This project also allows Floch to go back to his love for painting and moulding sculptures.
Some filmmakers rely too much on CGI, but Liew is determined that this will not happen in his film.
“Good CGI and special effects are supposed to blend in and enhance the movie,” Liew says.
“I want people to leave the cinema talking more about the characters and the story.”
This sentiment is shared by Floch, who says that he has observed some filmmakers putting more emphasis on CGI and special effects because they want certain characters to stand out in order to merchandise them later.
“They want to make [more] money,” Floch adds.
The pressure is currently on Liew for The Girl with No Head to equal the critical success of his previous films, Lelaki Harapan Dunia and 2007’s Flower in the Pocket, which received praise from audiences at film festivals worldwide.
“Whenever I start a new film project, I start from zero,” he says.
“I forget about my past works. I consciously make an effort to make sure my films [are] different from one another.”
He points out that if one were to make a comparison between his first two films, one can see a vast difference between them – from the language he used to the mood he set in his films.
“In this new film, I am dabbling in prosthetics and CGI,” he says. “I have never done that in my previous films. I am always looking for different challenges.”
In Flowers in the Pocket, his lead character has a fascination with manequins. In Lelaki Harapan Dunia, it was the orang minyak. Now, it is a headless body roaming the town. It appears that Liew has a fascination for weird human beings.
“I really have no idea why I have such fascinations,” he says. “Maybe, it is in the subconcious mind. Maybe you can tell me why.”
|Bernard ( right) and Seng Tat is creating magic togethr|