Entertainment

Hong Kong Auteur Scud is retiring and shelving two films for American release

Hong Kong-based artist and experimental filmmaker Scud will be retiring from filmmaking and leaving the city after completing his last two feature films. These were licensed by Breaking Glass Pictures for North American distribution.

A license agreement for the rights to “Apostles” and “Bodyshop” was signed between Breaking Glass Pictures and Artwalker, the production company that has managed the author’s entire film career. Breaking Glass is planning a limited theatrical run for Apostles this fall and a limited theatrical run for Bodyshop in Q4 2022.

“After 16 years I stop actively making films. What remains in my career will be distributing Bodyshop and Apostles, my 8th and 9th films, and a project I started for a trilogy about the lockdown era, and Naked Nation, the I wrote about Chinese culture and history a decade ago, based on my family whose origins are undetermined. It was like an eternal dream, inevitably waking up to the horrible reality. One last film before potentially leaving Hong Kong forever. Everything is scheduled for completion by July,” Scud said in a statement.

Scud is the adoptive name of Danny Cheng Wan-Cheung, who was born in Guangzhou, China. He spent around twenty years in IT and became permanent resident of Australia in 2001.

“Unique, bold, original and always challenging, Scud has always been a visionary filmmaker and his latest work is his boldest yet,” said Rich Wolff, CEO of Breaking Glass. “Breaking Glass is thrilled to bring these films to North American audiences.” The company has edited all of Scud’s previous film titles: Amphetamine, City Without Baseball, Love Actually…Sucks!, Voyage, Utopians ‘ and ‘Adonis’.

In “Apostles,” a scholar who claims to be an apostle to Socrates and Plato finds his end difficult to meet. With the help of his wife and his ex-partner’s family, he recruits 12 young men to come to his remote estate to investigate death. Aside from philosophical discussions, the practices include climbing Mount Fuji’s volcanic peak, bondage, sexual activity, and even living sacrifices. Meanwhile, these exciting experiences are filmed, leaving all involved with life-changing revelations. Apostles stars Bank Chuang, Teslin, Wei Kai Huang, Qiji Chen, Christopher Tsang, Adrian Heung, Amanda Lee, Jach Chow and Adonis He.

“Bodyshop” follows the spirit of a young soldier who says goodbye to his mother and travels the world to see his transgender sister. Possessing living bodies, he meddles in the romances of unfaithful lovers in Taiwan, Japan, Spain and Thailand. Amid the massive Hong Kong protests, he meets a soul mate and they seek shelter in a camouflaged garage where human bodies are treated in a way that transcends moral boundaries. Body Shop Stars Simon Tam, Tank Liu, Lina Tsai, Nicky Bunyarit, Daniel Benjamin, Adonis He, Christopher Tsang, Karen Huang.

Scud tells diversity that his withdrawal and departure from Hong Kong was for a variety of reasons ranging from economic to political.

“Indie film markets have shrunk to unsustainable levels. And the two years without theatrical screening opportunities in my home markets of Taiwan and Hong Kong took their toll,” he said. “I [also] I feel like my style, if it was once liked by academics and festivals, has drifted further away from them or them from me.

The changing political context in which the media, communications and entertainment industry operates in Hong Kong is also a push factor. “The new reality of censorship in Hong Kong makes production here risky, including for my actors and crew,” he said.

Hong Kong has seen a squeeze in political freedoms in recent years, accelerated by the introduction of a National Security Law in mid-2020 and the introduction of security concerns into the film censorship system. Scores of politicians, activists, entertainers and journalists have been arrested while others have fled the area.

“Sixteen years and ten movies (or nine if the current one can’t be made) isn’t as bad as the filmography of a struggling filmmaker,” added SCUD. “I’ve given everything and I feel the exhaustion in all aspects, with nothing feasible to aspire to. I was also inspired by the resignation of Ashley Barty, my compatriot [and] an invincible tennis player.”

https://variety.com/2022/film/news/hong-kong-scud-retires-american-release-1235279547/ Hong Kong Auteur Scud is retiring and shelving two films for American release

Charles Jones

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