In conversation with Angie Chen

Filmmaker Angie Chen joins us for a Q&A screening of her latest documentary i’ve got the blues as part of our year-long celebration of women in global cinema. Before she arrives, we caught up with her for a quick chat…

Which filmmakers or films have most inspired your work?

Jean Luc Goddard, the French New Wave Filmmaker and his films inspired me in his ground breaking approach to filmmaking. Fellini, Rossellini and Bernardo Bertolucci of the Italian masters. Stanley Kubrick, Frances Ford Coppola, Akira Kurosawa, Alfred Hitchcock for their masterful storytelling. Tim Burton for his whim and wizardry.
Films that inspired me: Breathless, Citizen Kane, La Dolce Vita, 81/2, Psycho, Rear Window, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Three Colours: Red, I am Love, The Seven Samurai, Tampopo.

What can you tell us about your latest project and the themes you wanted to explore?

Whenever I embark on a new project, my wish is for it to be different from what I have done before. With I’ve got the Blues, I wanted it to be different from my last film. The approach to shoot without a script is the same for all my documentaries. I usually look at what the footage reveals to me and then explore the themes. Current themes I’m exploring touch upon:

1. How a person can persist in what he/she believes in without giving up. The pathos in the sacrifice or obstinacy. Is this Victory or failure?
2. The dichotomy between filmmaker and his subject during the filming, and exploring the definition of a documentary film.

What are you most looking forward to about visiting Manchester/HOME?

My first documentary was screened at Cornerhouse in Visible Secrets ten years ago and my second film again at Cornerhouse in 2012. I’m looking forward to seeing old friends and to engage, interact and discuss with my peers and audience. I would also love to experience the new HOME that evolved from Cornerhouse, in films, music, visual arts and literature.

What advice would you offer other filmmakers that you wish you had known when starting out?

Be brave, be persistent, be honest, be open, embrace life and the arts and work diligently. And of course, stay healthy.

When you’re not at work, where are you most likely to be found?

When I’m not at work, I’d love to spend time in art museums, at concerts, watch movies and travel to foreign places, spending time with nature, animals and humans.

i’ve got the blues with Angie Chen Q&A takes place on May 12 – book tickets here. Find out more about Celebrating Women in Global Cinema season here.