| Gina Marchetti: Yes, this is in Like a Dream too, but this time it’s a man. It’s the male character who has the issue, although the women also have psychological problems. In Like a Dream, there are a lot of issues involving the nature of existence as well: What is fiction? What is reality? What is in your imagination? What is out in the real world? This is your most recent film which you brought to the HKIFF this year. It deals with the dream life of a male character, Max, played by Daniel Wu, who becomes obsessed with a dream woman that he conjures up in his imagination. He then goes to Shanghai and gets a brief glimpse of her. He then goes to Hangzhou and gets another glimpse of a concrete woman, who is played by the same actress. So these are dual roles: one of a dream girl who may or may not exist in Shanghai and the Hangzhou girl who helps Max to look for her while she searches for her own doppelganger through his imagination.
Clara Law and Daniel Wu the West Village location for Like a Dream,
photo courtesy of Persona Films
When I was watching this film, I was really struck by its being in conversation with Hitchcock’s Vertigo. Talking about the question of existence: what do you see, what can you see and what does the film show you. I thought of Vertigo, The Double Life of Veronique, Blow Up. But, then I was talking with someone else who said, "No. You’re completely wrong, Gina. It’s really a Chinese story. It’s the young scholar dreaming of his dream girl and then somehow finding themselves together even though one has died." Then, I thought maybe it’s like Teresa Tang’s song Tian Mi Mi’ s lyric, "I n a dream I see you. You are the one in my dream." I was curious if you’d talk a little bit about some of your inspiration for the film and whether any of these make any sense to you. Or, you may have had a completely different inspiration for your visualization of this dream world.