|Peter Chan : No, even though a lot of people think that, I denied it. Perhaps Love seems to be like Moulin Rouge, but it is really not like this movie. It was only my way to make a movie within a movie, where they sing. To me it’s a movie about film people. First and foremost it’s a love story. Also, with the movie within the movie technique, I get to pay a homage on a sidebar to films I love.
The movie is probably influenced by three kinds of movies. One is a very old Hollywood movie. First and foremost, in term of the core of the movie, it’s influenced by movies such as Casablanca [Michael Curtiz, 1942]. I’ve admitted over and over again that deep in my mind I’ve been inspired so much by Casablanca that I remade it three times -- in my mind. Even though people won’t think it’s Casablanca, Comrades, Almost a Love Story to me is Casablanca. Perhaps Love to me is Casablanca. In Comrades, I had Eric Tsang play Ingrid Bergman’s husband [Ed.: Victor Laszlo played by Paul Henreid], then in Perhaps Love, I had Jacky Cheung playing the husband, which is the character I love most in Casablanca.
Casablanca by Michael Curtis
In one way it’s the same sentiments, if you take all the style, the contemporary, the music out of it, you’ll actually find at the very core of it, a very old fashioned melodrama. Because I grew up watching old Hollywood movies, I am very much influenced by that sentiment and I feel like in this present day and age we have lost that sentiment and I’ve always wanted to recreate that in a contemporary setting.
The second influence, if you talk about the musical style or the pacing between the music and the reality, is Cabaret [Bob Fosse, 1972], which is my favorite musical. If you take the music out of this movie, it’s a complete straight narrative love story. There is no song in the dialogue at all, songs are in the stage scenes. It’s very partitioned; it’s almost very weirdly partitioned: when they talk they just talk, when the sing they just sing. The songs should complement on the emotion of the talky scenes that happened before. That was my favorite musical, but it’s not exactly a real traditional musical.
Cabaret by Bob Fosse
In terms of filmmaker aspect of Perhaps Love, I would be influenced by Day for Night [François Truffaut, 1973] and Eight and a Half [Federico Fellini, 1963], which are about filmmaking. The truth in fact is that part actually came from an idea I had a couple years ago to recreate the situation of my first movie with John Woo [Heroes Shed No Tears]. It was the funniest experience I’ve ever had on a film set. We shot for four months in the jungle in Thailand, with two French, three Korean, a whole bunch of HK crew, a Thai crew, a Japanese cinematographer -- five nationalities, all speaking different languages. Every actors just spoke there own language in the dialogue, and we just dub them. Nobody knew what the others were talking about.
John Woo was in the lowest of his career and he was very emotional, he is a very passionate person, which makes his film even more dramatic. It would be a perfect movie within the movie of Day for Night [Ed.: which tells the story of a shooting of a film, May I introduce Pamela]. If you use the shooting of Heroes Shed no Tears for Day for Night, it would be a much more interesting movie than Day for Night, or Eight and a Half [Ed.: the story of a director who retreats into his dreams]. I always wanted to remake that movie. I thought of a black comedy/drama in a way. But it’s very hard to put such a film together. So this idea influenced Perhaps Love, with the shooting on the film set and the inner turmoil of the director.