California Crusaders Newspaper & Until TV
Hello Mr. Wei, my name is Quanda R. Graves and I am a journalist from the California Crusaders Newspaper in conjunction with Until TV. Thank you for allowing me to interview you.
Hello Graves. It's my pleasure.
Questions for Mr. Hu Wei:
§ How did you come to the thought of making Butter Lamp?
The idea of “Butter Lamp” has existed for a long time; but it wasn’t until 2008 at the FIAC Paris when I saw Michael Nash's photograph Warsaw 1946, did I finally decide to write the script. In this photograph, a photographer uses a backdrop with some rural scenery to mask the war ruins while shooting a portrait for a woman, it was taken in Warsaw in November of 1946. The differentiation of space presented in one photograph really impressed me and I think that is sort of a common agreement between the western culture and the oriental culture, after that I finished the screenplay of Butter Lamp.
The attention that Butter Lamp has received was not something that I expected when I first made the film; and the future of Butter Lamp is also something that I cannot predict. But one thing for sure is that I wish it will reach more and more audiences.
§ What does the film Butter Lamp mean to you?
First of all, this film has strengthened my faith in the infinite possibilities and future potential of film language. And it allowed me to deliberate about the theme of diaspora and identity in the context of globalization. Lastly, because of the international attention this film has attracted, more young filmmakers in China are starting to value short film more. All those mean a lot to me.
§ How does it feel to have seventy (70) film prestige awards, as well as to have been selected by over two hundred (200) film festivals including majors such as Cannes, Sundance, Rotterdam and New York?
To hold on to the right to dream even when there's no hope, that's how I feel. We have encountered too many difficulties and frustration, but eventually it was our dreams that encouraged my team and I to keep going.
§ Two-parted question: Butter Lamp has been nominated for 2015 Academy Award. People dream all of their lives for this moment just to be nominated alone; was that one of your dreams? Or do awards matter?
The Academy Award is one of the most important awards today; for many filmmakers it is a dream; and for me, it is the beginning of my dream. The dream that drives me to make more films and have more freedom of expression.
§ I know you’re looking to do more but you have reached an accomplishment that take years to achieve, can you see what’s next in your steps?
I don't have a specific plan, but I am a person of adventure, I love doing what is challenging. So no matter what my next step is, it will be something that challenges my limits.
§ What is your favorite film?
This is an impossible question to answer for a cinephilia, but I can try to list out my top 10 of 2014: My top 10 films of 2014:1 From What Is Before (Lav Diaz) 2. Til Madeness Do Us Part (Wang Bing) 3. The Second Game (Corneliu Porumboiu) 4.Winter Sleep (Nuri Bilge Ceylan) 5.Fragile (Shigo Ota) 6. A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting (Roy Andersson) 7. Adieu au langage (JLG) 8. Gyeongju (Zhang Lv) 9. Blind Massage (Lou Ye) 10. P’tit quinquin (Bruno Dumont)
§ What is your favorite pass time?
When I have time, my favorite thing to do is to watch cartoons with my four-year-old daughter, or so some painting with her.
*Congratulations on your Oscar Nominated Film, Butter Lamp! I wish you many blessings and we at California Crusaders Newspaper look forward to hearing more from you.
Thank you and California Crusaders Newspaper; I wish you every success!
**This has been Quanda R. Graves from California Crusaders Newspaper and Until TV and I want to thank you for the interview. This article has been published in the California Crusader Newspaper, volume 27, No. 8, the issue of February 19th - 25th of 2015.