Deng Chao, Li Bingbing, Tsui Hark, Carina Lau Ka Ling, Andy Lau Tak Wa
courtesy of takungpao.com
This Venice Film Festival's only Chinese film in competition, DETECTIVE DEE AND THE MYSTERY OF THE PHANTOM FLAME (DIK YUN KIT ji TUNG TIN DAI GOK) yesterday held a press conference and a global premiere last night. At the press conference were director Tsui Hark and several key actors Andy Lau Tak Wa, Carina Lau Ka Ling, Li Bingbing and Deng Chao.
Tsui Hark hoped to through the film display in all new ways things that were often seen in wuxia novels or films like disguises and pressure points. He stated that when he first made DETECTIVE he thought about a 3D version, which would be very special. He said, "Unfortunately at the time the producer didn't know how to make a 3D version. AVATAR was
still a year away from release. We wanted to make a 3D version but we had no idea where to go."
Playing Di Renjie, Wa Jai said that after receiving the script he immediately began to study Di Renjie as a person and read Dutch writer Robert van Gulik's novels as well as some television series. Finally Tsui Hark told him that he did not need to do any homework. Instead he asked him, "What animal does Di Renjie resemble?" Then he said Di Renji resembled as monkey, very mischievous and very smart but also behaved the closest to human. Wa Jai joked, "Then I realized actually I wasn't playing a monkey-like Di Renjie, but Director Tsui Hark."
Playing Wu Zetian, Lau Ka Ling honestly said that this famous Empress was both familiar to and distant from her. Thus whe she took the role she had quite a struggle. Because the performance was very hard, she not only did a lot of preparation but both Tsui Hark and Wong Kar Wai found a lot of books for her to read. They also helped her a lot with the look. Bingbing in the film had very intricate relationships with Di Renji and Wu Zetian. Because they were very hard to grasp, everyday she would drink with the director to look for the feeling. As the albino detective, Deng Chao stated due to the special costume Tsui Hark would say that he could not recognize him every time he saw him. He did not know whether to be happy or sad. After the shoot, he felt if this character did not look like that he would regret it for a lifetime.
In addition, the film held a screening in the morning with nearly 90% admission rate. After the show the film received applause from the entire audience. The local media praised that this was the most entertaining Chinese films in Venice in three years.