510pm. Movie Cafe.
Film: With a Little Help From Myself
Story: A “Super Typhoon” is spawned off the coast of China. A spectacular film portraying a mayor who unyieldingly enforces the state of alert, as well as various human events that are tossed about by the typhoon.
Present: Feng Xiaoning (director), Song Xiaoying (actress), Liu Xiaowei (actress)
How did the Chinese film industry react to this film? Also, has there ever been a movie about natural disaster made at the scale you did?
Feng Xiaoning (FX): This film will be screened in China on the 24th this month, so the Japanese audience will see it first! There has never been a natural disaster movie created at the scale “Super Typhoon” has been made, and so I can feel that the Chinese people are looking forward to this movie. For the past few years, China has suffered catastrophic earthquakes and Japan is also a country of earthquakes and typhoons. I hope this movie will get people to think about how to face such disasters when they actually happen. Under such circumstances, what counts the most are human lives, and every life should be protected by the people and government joining hands. I’d like the people of the world to realize that the many natural disasters are a result of mankind’s selfish actions. To be loved by the world, we must first learn to love the world.
How was it being a part of “Super Typhoon”?
Liu Xiaowei (LX): It wasn’t easy! It snowed heavily last winter in China and many parts of the country were damaged by this. This was right when we were shooting this film and I recall Mr. Xiaoning telling us that he will do everything he has to do to shoot this movie. In my case, many of my scenes were solos, which made it harder under such weather conditions. After several retakes, Mr. Xiaoning looked as if he was about to start a storm himself! I used to work as a
nurse, and that’s how I got through the scene... luckily before his storm landed on us!
Song Xiaoying (SX): For an actor, every role has its own characteristic. Professions such as teachers and doctors are easy to come across, but when it comes to meteorologists, we hardly have a chance to meet them. But, in the end, what matters is not what the cast thinks about the movie, but what the audience feels. In the movie, there is an actual typhoon called “Shirayuri”, which landed in both Japan and China in 1993. Being here in Japan with “Super Typhoon”
feels almost as if I was meant to come!
Do you feel the world is now facing a serious crisis caused by global warming?
FX: Global warming is a serious problem which every person on earth must think about. In the movie, a level 18 typhoon hits us, and we know that typhoons are caused by the rising temperature of the ocean. Every economy flourishes by paying the price of pollution and destruction, which China is undergoing right now. I have been appointed ambassador
of protecting the natural environment and I hope this movie will direct the serious global issues to the public. I have also suggested that we start a “No-Car Day” every week, which is now gaining support among the people in Beijing. My wife is also more careful about not using more water than necessary. She has started using left over bath water to flush the toilet or to do the laundry.
SX: I feel a bit guilty after hearing Mr. Xiaonong’s words... I’ll try to improve on not spending too much.
LX: I first worked with Mr. Xiaoning in 2001. We were on location in Mongolia, a place where there once was grass as tall as my height, but now barely covering the surface of the earth. It was desertification right there in front of me.
FX: 20 years ago, I made a movie that addressed environmental issues. I’ve been concerned about global warming and contamination since then. I will continue to put forth these issues and the importance of living in harmony with nature.
Posted by Lokman Salikoon