Tuesday, September 01, 2009

This week's update on Conversations with T.F. Mou goes like this:

Been cutting, hard. About eight minutes into the edit, no idea how long it will be. The final cut, however, will NOT exceed 70 minutes. What I may do is have a lot of deleted/extended scenes on DVD as a special feature since some cool tidbits may have to be omitted for time constraints. Speaking of special features, I may very well put The Magic Forest on the DVD as a special feature but dubbed into Japanese under the title Maho no Mori. I actually think the movie would play far better in Japanese, it would almost seem like a Miyazaki film on some bad PCP. Rush's Tom Sawyer, even if that song embodies drug use to me (I used to listen to it while high, honestly, that's how it got into the film), will also, of course, be deleted since Geddy Lee didn't see any royalty check at any time. It will be probably be an Easter egg, actually and could go on the second pressing of Two Shorts Films instead. I want to put an Easter egg on the new menus of the next pressing of that disc.

As far as more specifics on the progress, been digging up archive footage on archive.org like crazy particularly regarding Taiwan (or Formosa as it was called) in the early days.

As for our present today, here we have a picture from one of T.F. Mou's Men Behind the Sun photo albums. He had five and I only borrowed two, he had pictures showing how he did the autospy scene that I really wish I had borrowed too (he dissected a sedated live pig for the shots of the kid's heart being removed).

One of the more harrowing scenes in the film, the frostbite scene, was done not with prosthetics but with real cadaver arms. That scene has always creeped the fuck out of me. Sometimes plays in my "mind's eye" while I try go to sleep on bad nights. The camerawork is very subtle, the woman's facial expressions are so anguished and the depiction is so cold and matter of fact it has a visceral power simply through its visuals almost ala a silent director like Eisenstein or Murnau. I have pictures of the two female stage hands wrangling the mutilated corpse arms but you're going to have to wait until the actual movie comes out to see those. The frostbite victim was played by Mou's own niece because he had trouble finding a girl who would do a scene like that.
Here she is being put into makeup before she is filmed cinematically no hands at the hands of the 731 staff.

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