Taipei Film Festival Opens with director Cheng Wen-tang’s Maverick. (From the left) Cash Chuang, Jian Man-shu, director Cheng Wen-tang, Gin Oy, and Chris Wang.
The 17th Taipei Film Festival opened on the evening of the 26th at Taipei Zhongshan Hall. The opening film was director Cheng Wen-tang’s Maverick, his first film in five years. Director Cheng was there to promote the film with actors Chris Wang, Jian Man-shu, Cash Chuang, and Gin Oy. Chair of Taipei Film Festival, Lee Lieh, was also in attendance.
Chair of the 17th Taipei Film Festival, Lee Lieh, attended the premiere of Maverick to promote Taipei Film Festival.
Cheng Wen-tang, who won Best Director at the 12th Taipei Film Awards for Tears, once said in an interview that he was in the process of making his “transitional justice trilogy.” Tears, which came out five years ago, was the first installment. This year’s Maverick is the second. All films of the trilogy will center on police stories.
The film is Chris Wang’s first collaboration with director Cheng. He plays an enthusiastic rookie police officer. Wang said that in Maverick, the challenges in acting were different from those in his previous work in Endless Nights in Aurora, which were like those in Ping Fong Acting Troupe, where there were specific directions for character and acting details. Director Cheng, on the other hand, focuses on the overall presentation of the film, and actors often only learn their characters and directions on the set. For this, Cash Chuang added that the director emphasizes the “smell” of the atmosphere on the set.
In the film, Jian Man-shu (left) has many breakthrough performances, and Cash Chuang (right) plays an experienced police officer.
Cash Chuang, who plays an experienced police officer, has many scenes opposite Chris Wang, which include fight scenes. One scene where Chris Wang’s character was humiliated by a senior officer took 15 takes to complete. Cheng revealed that Chuang was the actor who suffered the most in Maverick. Chuang stated that he entered the film circle thanks to Cheng’s guidance, and he cherishes all chances to collaborate with the director. When Chuang worked in independent productions and student-directed films, directors would hesitate to actually “direct” him because of his seniority in the business. However, Cheng’s insistence on acting under all circumstances helped him learn a lot.
Jian Man-shu attended the premiere of Maverick in a backless dress.
Maverick was director Cheng Wen-tang’s first collaboration with Gin Oy (left) and Chris Wang (right).
Jian Man-shu, who plays the love interest of Chuang’s character, offered breakthrough performances in the film. For the director, she was the cast member whom he made the most effort to direct. She remarked that Maverick required her to try an acting approach that put more emphasis on the character’s more reserved, innermost feelings and thoughts, which was different from what she was used to. Another breakthrough actor was Gin Oy, who plays a real estate agent. Unlike her previous image of marked individuality, she plays a traditional woman in the film. Oy stated that it was a challenge for her and that she was fortunate to have a veteran actor Tan Ai-chen for mother, whom she could consult. (Article/ Liya Chen; Photography/Shih-wen Huang)
Maverick premiered at Taipei Film Festival and will be released in Taiwanese theaters on November 13.