Sebastián Nadilo shares his comments on the short film “Erotica” by Gavin Lin, which will be screened during the 24th Busan International Film Festival (October 3rd – 12th, 2019) in Busan, Korea.
Cast: Huang Tsai Yi, Wang Ko Yuan
Section: Short Film Showcase – International Premiere
A novelist past her prime, Fang Yuan-Yi accidentally discovers a manuscript with a similar style at her publisher’s office. She steals the work and is determined to find the copycat. She arrives at an apartment and is greeted by Wang Jen-Yu, a young wheelchair bound polio survivor. (Kang Sowon)
October 5th (Tuesday) | MEGABOX Jangsan Haeundae 7 | 14:00 pm
October 8th (Friday) | CGV Centum City 1 | 16:30 pm
October 9th (Saturday) | Busan Cinema Center Cinema 2 | 19:00 pm
Comments (it may contain spoilers):
First and foremost, I would like to thank the director for allowing me to watch his film. Kind acts like this mean a lot to me since I can’t travel to Busan’s festival this year.
Writer’s Block is something that every author fear. The condition is characterized by the lack of ability to produce new and creative work. How can you get that spark back? And most important, what would you do to get it back? “Erotica” talks about this problematic in a very creative way. Our protagonist, Fang Yuan-Yi, is a novelist that lost her ability to produce novels. Her new works don’t get publish anymore; something is missing. One day while visiting her publisher’s office she discovered a manuscript with a very similar style. Angry by this situation, she steals the manuscript and decides to go after the copycat. She arrives at an apartment and as soon as the door opens, she enters without hesitation. There she is greeted by Wang Jen-Yu, a young wheelchair bound polio survivor.
The young man presents himself as a devoted fan of her books and explains that after thinking she stopped publishing novels, he decided to start writing similar kind of novels. To his surprise he managed to win some literature awards and was picked by a publisher to write his own book. Still angry about the whole situation Fang Yuan-Yi demands him to stop copying her style but after reading a couple of pages she discovers he has that “spark” that she lost long time ago. Desperate to be on the bookshelves again, she makes a deal with him. He will start working for her as a ghostwriter. Excited about the news he agrees under one condition, she must make love to him. And here is where things turn interesting…
“Erotica” is a very well-crafted film. The story line has a nice twist where power dynamic changes from one protagonist to the other. Fang Yuan-Yi’s desperation to publish a book under her name reaches a boiling point where she realizes how powerless she is and how pity is her situation. On the other hand, we can see how Wang Jen-Yu, who despite of being disable, manages to get power over her to please his secret fantasy.
Both actors’ performances (Huang Tsai Yi and Wang Ko Yuan) are excellent to the point where you can feel and experience their suffering. We can see this in two important scenes, the first one when Wang Jen-Yu force Fang Yuan-Yi to fulfill his fantasy and the other is when she reads the manuscript he created for her but discovers he based the novel on themselves.
The director explains that “Erotica explores what happens when a creative faces the loss of talent and the story of making a come back”. To the director “the creative process is likened to making love to one’s disabled self. You have to confront what’s unbearable, to learn to live with imperfection. It is a trial by fire–even as one finds joy in its midst–and what it takes to do great work.”
Like I said before Erotica will be screened at the 24th Busan International Film Festival please see the dates above.
About the director:
Gavin Lin is a native of Kaohsiung, Taiwan, and emerged during the 2000s Taiwanese renaissance after winning a Golden Harvest Award for his short film Liberty Avenue in 2005. His filmography includes In Case of Love (2010), Revenge of the Factory Woman (2011), A Moment of Love (2013) and Welcome to the Happy Days (2015), (2018).
2018. More than Blue. (Director/ Screenplay, Taiwan. 107 mins)
2016. Welcome to the Happy Days. (Director/ Screenplay, Taiwan 101 mins)
2013. A moment of Love. (Director/ Screenplay, China 96 mins)
2011. Revenge of the factory woman. (Director/ Screenplay, Taiwan 101 mins)
2010. In Case of Love. (Director/ Screenplay, Taiwan 90 mins)
2018. Erotica (Director/ Screenplay, Taiwan.27 Mins)