News 2013

Interview with Vivian Qu, director of Shuiyin Jie (Trap Street)

Giulia Ghigi Can we consider technology as one of the characters in your film? The protagonist seems to be fascinated by it and continually uses many devices (gps, cameras, mobile phones,…) . Does technology really help him grasp reality and achieve a better understanding of what surrounds him?

Vivian Qu Technology is an important aspect of modern life, especially for Qiuming’s generation, and this is what I want to show in my film. But I chose to use a low-tech way to portray a high-tech world because for me technology alone can never get us closer to truth. Often times it keeps us further away. Qiuming is certainly someone who thinks that his devices can help him grasp reality better. It is not until he throws away his phone card towards the end of the film, does he begin to think differently. At that moment he starts to become closer to truth.

GG In the film there are several POV shots: is this a way to remind the audience of their role as external  observers? What does the audience mean to you? How do you regard the audience?

VQ I told the story mostly from Qiuming’s perspective, because I want the audience to experience a discovery process: with limited knowledge and practical constraints created by the society he lives in. Through this process the audience would experience his joys and frustrations.

Occasionally I allow the audience to take the POV of a secret or hidden camera, in order to make them realize that outside Qiuming’s world, there is an omni-present eye that is watching. We don’t know who they are, but we can feel their existence. In a moment like this, the audience is actively participating in the storytelling, and the development hereafter is subject to their observation and assessment.