Interview Director Hou Chi-Jan of When Wolf Falls in Love With a Sheep

Director Hou Chi-Jan

By William Kustiono

On Friday, July 5th 2013, we had an exclusive interview with Filmmaker Hou Chi-Jan (侯季然) about his latest movie When Wolf Falls in Love With a Sheep (南方小羊牧場). This movie talks about the romance that happened in busy area of Nanyang Street. This street is very famous in Taiwan for students who want to enter and pass the university exam. There are a lot of cram schools or evening schools for students to study and nothing else beside the schools, except for a few stores and food cafes for students to take a snack bite.

When Wolf Falls in Love With a Sheep

The movie revolves around Tung, who starts working as a photocopy shop assistant in the Nanyang Street. Tung’s ex-girlfriend dumped him and headed off for cram school. Some ambitious people who want to get into a prestigious university have to make a sacrifice. In here, Tung’s girlfriend dumped him in order to pursue a better education. But, the story shares more than Tung’s journey to find his ex-girlfriend. Tung encounters Yang, a teaching assistant in a cram school who draws cute little sheep on the exam papers. Tung discovers that the students ignore her drawings, until that night he starts drawing a big bad wolf as a response to Yang’s sheep. Later on, the wolf and sheep become a major sensation among the students in the cram school.

Hou discussed how he gets the idea for the movie. He explained that in Asian culture, taking a cram school is a serious matter because every student works really hard and want to enter a good university. He chose Nanyang Street to represent this movie because there are many relations between studying and having a relationship. He also explained the reason why people want to study in cram school is to have a better life and essentially have a good life partner/lover. When you do not pass the examination, you will become a poor and miserable people.

Director Hou Chi-Jan

Hou also explained that the main idea in the movie is not only about romance, there is another thing beyond the romance. For example, if a person fails the exam, what will he do next? He mentioned about the characters in the movie who failed the exam and the girlfriend who dumped him. After he wanders around the Nanyang Street, he found himself a job. But, he must work really hard in order to succeed. He has to let go all of the guilt of failing the exam and forget about his ex-girlfriend in order to move on. This is what Hou wants to show in the movie, there is no point of crying over spilt milk. You have to keep moving on. When you failed to achieve, perhaps it is not your destiny to reach that target.

When we talked about the target audience in this film, he mentioned about the adults aged 20 above, especially those who did not pass the exam. He wants to encourage people using the comedic aspect in the movie. The hidden message in the movie is to make sure to keep working hard to achieve your goals, never give up, and whatever happened in the past (failures and such), you have to let it go.

At the end of the interview, Hou mentioned about his next project is still in the research phase. The movie will be about the love story during the Chinese Civil War. Hou went to Boston in the middle of June and spent a lot of time studying and researching about the Chinese Civil War in the library. Who knows? This could be another exciting romantic movie that will entertain us as an audience.

Director Hou Chi-Jan

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