courtesy of takungpao.com
With multiple Best Actors and Best Actresses like Carina Lau Ka Ling, Andy Lau Tak Wa, Sammo Hung Kam Bo, Li Bingbing, and Tony Leung Ka Fai, the hundred million yuan big production DETECTIVE DEE AND THE MYSTERY OF THE PHANTOM FLAME (DIK YUN KIT ji TUNG TIN DAI GOK) will be released in Hong Kong on September 30. This film is also the only Chinese film to compete in this year's Venice Film Festival. DETECTIVE's story is
intriguing and mysterious, the film's sets are grand, well crafted, glittering and golden, beautiful costume is also one of the film's big selling points.
The film has over 4,000 actor costumes. Yu Ka On expressed that many costume designs were inspired by Alexander McQueen and John Galliano. The Lau Ka Ling played Wu Zetian had many notable costumes, almost every one of which could be an art exhibit.
Lau Ka Ling had many costumes in the films. Her look alone cost 10 million yuan already. In one scene Wu Zetian reunited with Di Renjie after eight years on the military training ground. Ka Ling's costume was very regal. In order to show Wu Zetian's majesty, Yu Ka On designed a
giant costume for Ka Ling and added four layers within four layers of costumes. Ka Ling wore 16 layers of cloth that weighed almost ten pounds, with several kilograms of head dress the pain was truly beyond any description. Ka Ling said, "I still remember at the time Shanghai's
temperature reached 42 degrees (Celsius), and we shot under the blazing sun. I haven't had such a tough time for a long time, but it was worth all the worth."
Ka Ling said that film costumes were different in almost every scene, but every scene was very exciting and she enjoyed them extremely. According to the team Ka Ling during the shoot used calmness to battle the high heat. Lau Tak Wa in the film had the most scenes with Ka Ling. Wa Jai too felt Ka Ling's different costumes were memorable. He said, "When we shot on the military training ground, the heat reached 42 degrees and we couldn't open our eyes. Yet in that costume she did not even move at all. Any actor who was not in the scene ran into the air conditioned room, but she still couldn't move. I was sweating buckets on the set. Originally I didn't want to ask how she was, but finally I asked. She only sighed and said calmness naturally cools." Wa Jai truly admired her level of professionalism.
Lau Ka Ling for the look even sacrificed her eyebrows. After studying many murals, many Tang Dynasty women often drew their brows into squares. Originally director Tsui Hark and Yu Ka On considered whether they could achieve the result without shaving eyebrows, but they could not come up with the best way. Unexpectedly Ka Ling suggested bleaching her eyebrows then drew on square brows. Yu Ka On said, "with bleaching, the brows would disappear for two onths. Ka Ling's coordinated was truly touching to me. For Wu Zetian's look she provided a lot of time to us. Each time she would spend several hours and each time she patiently waited for our arrangement. The biggest credit of the success of Wu Zetian's look this time should go to Ka Ling."
After three years away from the silver screen, Ka Ling at first asked director Tsui Hark why he chose her to play Wu Zetian. Actually the director felt that at this moment Ka Ling was very unique. Because Wu Zetian was the only Empress in Chinese history, her emotional journey was
very complex. Before the production Director Tsui suggested three interpretation directions to Ka Ling. The first was scheming, which had to be neat and competent; the second was full of feminine charm; the third was a modern strong woman. Ka Ling said, "She was the most influential woman in Chinese history. Her personality had many sides, with an autocratic and domineering side; but I saw her persistence and tolerance. After playing this character, I rather admire her."