HKCinemagic: Let’s talk about Dante Lam. He’s been you assistant director for a while.
Gordon Chan: Oh, a long time. He was my assistant producer in The Yuppie Fantasia (1989). He’s been stuck with me ever since.
HKCinemagic: What kind of relationship do you have with him?
Gordon Chan: We have a kind of brotherhood thing. There was never a sifu (master-student) relationship between us. I never look at him as a student. He supported me all along when I went through all these gambles. He was with me all along.
HKCinemagic: So it was more like a team work type of relationship.
Gordon Chan: Yes.
HKCinemagic:Now he’s doing his own films and he is quite successful. What do you think of his films?
Gordon Chan: I mean Dante has a problem. His problem is that he loves firearms so much. Too much. (Laughing)
HKCinemagic:He did Hit Team, which was really impressive [as a special unit cop film].
Gordon Chan: Yes, and sometimes he gets carried away when he starts shooting with all these firearms.
HKCinemagic: Have you been following his work?
Gordon Chan: Sometimes. And sometimes I would remind him “too much firearms!”.
I was always trying to control [his impulse]. You remember the film he directed in Japan? When I Look Upon the Stars (1999) with Shu Qi and Leo Ku Kui Kei. That was one film I forced him to do. “Do a comedy. Do a romance,” I said. “ I don’t know what you are going to do, but no more firearms.” And also when I asked him to work with Chan Hing Kar.
It was still a small budget film, but he still came up with the idea of shooting that assassination sequence in only one day. It was so hard. But he said he loved it.
HKCinemagic: I’ve recently watched the American movie called S.W.A.T. (Clark Johnson, 2003). Have you seen it? What did you think?
Gordon Chan: What a waste! (Laughing) The problem with the Americans is the directors never write their own stories, and not a lot of directors are into their own stories. They are just guys who call out the shots. Drama is not just drama. It’s such a shame.