Peter chan_ balancing on the cutting edge
With his latest movie 'The Guillotines' now in cinemas, the prolific Hong Kong director returns to Bangkok, the city where he first developed his love for films, to discuss China's rise as a cinematic force and how he manages to juggle the dual demands of art and commerce
Facing a forest of reporters' microphones, Peter Ho Sun Chan speaks Thai with the slight accent of someone who remembers the tongue, but not the spontaneity.
"I only get to speak Thai when I come to promote my movies here," says the Hong Kong film-maker in English in a later session. "I don't read and write Thai. I can only speak it, and I don't have the vocabulary," he pauses. "Let's do this in English then."
English, naturally, since Cantonese is out of the question. In 1974 when he was 11, Chan arrived in Bangkok from Hong Kong with his parents. He lived here for seven years before leaving to study film in California, returning to Hong Kong in the late 1980s. He then rose quickly as one of the most prominent film-makers of the island city. As a director he's best-known for intimate love stories in which characters face contemporary dilemmas, and lately as producer he's developed several historical epics to feed the appetite of the thriving mainland Chinese market.
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