‘The title is from an old Chinese proverb. which says that food and sex are the two main impulses in Iife.‘ explains Taipei-born director Ang Lee. Following the worldwide success of The Wit/(ling Banquet. liar Drink .llun Woman is a funny. touching. humane and at times downright mouthwatering ﬁlm about the web of romantic complications surrounding a widowed. once-famous chef and his four unmarried daughters. Somewhat nervously returning home to his native Taiwan after a number of years in the US. Lee was approached by a local producer with the idea of remaking an old 50s Chinese movie and. after some consideration. found himself taking up the offer for a number of reasons. ‘I had a chance to take on four or even ﬁve love stories in one film.’ he explains over China tea in one of London‘s swankier restaurants. ‘to look at contemporary Taipei. to deal with man-woman relationships and to further examine a Chinese family breaking apart to find a new energy in the way that I'd done with my previous two ﬁlms. Pushing Hands and Wedding Banquet. It's really a microcosm of what‘s happening today in Chinese society. facing modern reason. losing the old roots.‘
On screen. Aug has certainly topped
, even his previous efforts with this beautifully modulated and extremely
wise portrait of a father and daughters reaching a new and deeper sense of mutual understanding after they've allowed communication to dry up between them. In his third film with the director. Sihung l.iung plays the
‘lt’s really a microcosm of what’s happening today in Chinese society, facing modern reason, losing the old roots.’
_ difficult but ultimately caring father
and turns in a contribution worthy of Our. lleld together by Lee's assured pacing and a raft of such excellent
performances liar Drink Man Woman
is a truly engrossing piece of work. not
“MALLE'S MANHATTAN MASTERPIECE... A FEAST OF FINE ACTING"
out Nth Cunns rNDEPENDFNT ON SUNDAY
“UTTERLY MAGICAL,UTTERLY MEMORABLE"
“AN ASTONISHING PIECE OF THEATRE AND
AN AUTHENTIC CINEMATIC EXPERIENCE"
“**** THIS FILM WON ME ER, IT'S SO WELL PERFORMED"
FROM THE CREATORS OF
"MY DINNER WITH ANDRE"
A FILM! BY
ON 42ND STREET
WALLACE SHAWN JULIANNE MOORE
ANDRE GREGORY'S ACCLAIMED PRODUCTION OF CHEKHOV'S “UNCLE VANYA" ADAPTED BY DAVID MAMET
A Mayfair Film
Released by Artiﬁcial Eye
Eat Drink Man Woman: ‘downright mouthwatering
least because it rightly locates the 1 dining table as the key ritual in family ;' life. ‘lt's where you get everybody I together. it's a ritual about communication.‘ reflects the 40-year- old who thinks of himself as ‘a Chinese 5 New Yorker from Taipei'. ‘In this film it's also about emotion. because that's the way the father shows his affection.‘ ‘We made him a chef because we wanted ajob where. in one sense, he i lives up to his masculine role. yet. on the other hand. he's actually spent his ; whole life serving women. We had originally thought of making him a tailor who created traditional Chinese dresses. but in the end we went for food because I'm a pretty good cook myself and over the years I've developed an : obsession with putting fantastic dishes up there on screen.‘ So far as [Sui Drink Mun ll’imltlll is : concerned. he has definitely succeeded. It's not a film to be seen on an empty
stomach. but one where the sheer amounts of gourmet food on display turned the shooting process into a logistical nightmare. Already pressured by the different production regimen pursued in the less affluent Taiwanese industry. Lee recalls his four months on set with a smile that indicates just what a horrendous experience it all must have been. ‘It doesn't look it. but the sight lines and continuity problems make filming three or more people round a table one of the most complex tasks you can take on. Put lots of Chinese food into the sequence and you have a nightmare. It only really looks its best. all steaming and bubbling, for the first two minutes. and then you have to prepare the whole dish again. By the time you get to take nine or ten.
‘Over the years, I’ve developed an obsession with putting fantastic dishes up there on screen.’
almost everyone on the set is screaming at each other.‘
Luckily for him though. he‘s unlikely to face the same problems on his next project. for. unlikely as it may seem. Lee’s been chosen by screenwriter and star Emma Thompson to direct her forthcoming adaptation of Jane Austen's Sense and .S'wrsi'ln’lirv. ‘lt‘s got sisters and satire and marriage and romance. so really it's not all that different from the subjects I‘ve done before.‘ he beams in anticipation. ‘But what food can I show on screen? Potatoes? ’l'lza/ aspect kinda depresses me.‘ (Trevor Johnston)
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The List |3~26 January I995 21