[Interviewer (C)]: Good evening, dear readers! We are here at the Breaking Through the Lens reception in Palais du Cannes, and I am delighted to have the opportunity to meet the talented filmmaker, Tau Tau Menghan. She has just presented her new feature film, “Pinky Swear – Whatever She Wants,” which takes us into a whimsical world where lollipops hold the key to extraordinary adventures and unraveling sweet, dangerous mysteries. Tau Tau, thank you for joining us tonight.
[Tau Tau Menghan (T)]: Thank you for having me! It’s a pleasure to be here.
[C]: I couldn’t help but notice that you are currently enjoying a lollipop. Does it hold any special significance?
[T]: laughs Oh, this lollipop? It’s just a small indulgence I treat myself to from time to time. However, in “Pinky Swear – Whatever She Wants,” lollipops play a much more magical role. They symbolize a gateway to unexpected journeys and unraveling sweet, dangerous mysteries, taking the characters and the audience on an adventure filled with unexpected twists.
[Interviewer]: That sounds fascinating! It’s always refreshing to see filmmakers explore unique concepts. You’ve told us that “Pinky Swear” is a thriller, but I’ve seen several photos showcasing cute little things like water guns, princess dresses, and butterfly shoes. Your recent works often showcase a dark interpretation of seemingly cute or innocent elements. What draws you to explore these contrasts?
[T]: Ah, yes, the dark interpretations of cute things. Well, I have always found that unexpected elements can create a powerful impact. Starting from the first short film I made, I turned a basket of oranges into a weapon for the character to express her emotions. Later, in “Open Wound – The Über Movie,” even though I was a producer rather than a director, I contributed my idea of incorporating cute little things into several action scenes. For example, a woman putting a heavy stone into her purse, which, when swung, becomes a weapon similar to the meteor hammer used by Gogo Yubari in Tarantino’s “Kill Bill.” Or, to punish a man who likes to draw and write, simply having revenge by squeezing his fingers between pencils connected by a rope. And, of course, in “Pinky Swear – Whatever She Wants,” the entire 93 minutes are dedicated to exploring this concept. Firstly, it’s about keeping the audience on their toes and delivering something fresh and exciting. Secondly, I want to analyze and observe violence and darkness while maintaining a safe distance for both myself and the audience. So, in my movie, blood is pink, one step away from the traditional blood red. And when a crime occurs, it’s portrayed in a surreal, cute way.
[C]: That’s definitely an innovative perspective, and it adds a layer of excitement to your films. Can you tell us what your motivation is to tell this story? And do you know who your audience is?
[T]: I know the correct answer would be to say that I want to help certain community to have own voices or make the world better. However, I recently read Takeshi Kitano’s new book, and he was very brave in telling the true voice from most artists: we make films or create art in other forms primarily for ourselves. The art must make me laugh or cry first, and then it will genuinely make the audience laugh or cry. As someone who is also a business leader in the timber group, I can clearly see the difference. In the business world, success relies on having successful models, and organizations try to find the right models and apply them to the process. Models exist in an ideal world, and even the best models can’t apply 100% to different situations. But that spirit of assumption and pitching, if it works 70%, is already worth learning and adopting. However, in the art world, indirect pitching or assumption can’t create true emotions and experiences that touch the real feelings of an individual.
[C]: Thank you, Tau Tau, for sharing your unique insights with us. We look forward to experiencing your upcoming project and witnessing your career continue to flourish.
[T]: Thank you so much! I can’t wait to share my next adventure with all of you. Stay tuned for more surprises and whimsical journeys!