Door Game (中文版)
2005, 26 minutes

[Click to view video clip]

Concept / Artist Statement
Banging doors can be highly symbolic narrative objects – or are they simply a mechanical measure, or just a slip of tongue?

Door Game is a narrative game playing with the found footage of a number of family ethics melodramas from HK Cantonese cinema of the 1950s and 1960s.  By re-assembling loose fragments into some kind of coherent structures, I reveal the hidden logic of the genre, exposing the repetitive elements.  Through story-creation, my critique of the gender-biased, formulaic quality inherent to Cantonese melodramas evolves.  I want to expose the arbitrariness of pathos and ethos in the Cantonese melodramatic tradition, especially to point out how narrative logic turns open options into moral necessity, and how a particular form of morality is turned into absolute truth via plotting…

Door Game comprises of three episodes: “Door Drama: please enter,” “(Short-)Circuiting Melodrama” and “Trap Doors.”  From one to the next, the narrative function of sight and sound in Door Game diminishes.  Images and sounds become more and more pure signs and tokens of shared story-telling practices, whereas the expressive and narrative function of the written text grows.  Towards the end, text and noise take over images, and critique overrides narration.

The 3-episode found-footage exercise is an artistic realization of what Salen and Zimmerman say about “games” in Rules of Play, “To play a game is to rely on and interact with the representations the game generates…  Games can represent.  Games are representations.” (p. 364)


Production Notes:

Main stories are constructed from footage of the following films:
Blossoms in Rainy May I (1960, dir. QIN Jian, Hong Kong)
Blossoms in Rainy May II (1960, dir. QIN Jian, Hong Kong)
Second Spring (1960, dir. WANG Tianlin, Hong Kong)

Additional head shots from:
How Two Naughty Girls Thrice Insulted Siu Yuet-pak (1952, dir. WU Hui, Hong Kong)
Oriole’s Song (1956, dir. LI Chenfeng, Hong Kong)

Additional video footage:
Linda Lai
All movies consulted are film adaptations of air-wave dramas (on radio) by Li Wo.

Script/Research/Visual narrative & sound design:
Linda Lai

Maggie Chan
[Screening history]
* September/November, 2005: Hong Kong Art Centre and Habitus
** October 2006: Official Selection for the "Experimental Film" section of the WOMEN MAKE WAVES 2006 festival (Taipei) 2006 [第13屆女性影展(臺北)實驗片類].
*** December 22, 2006 (Kaohsiung) as part of the “Hong Kong Playground” month-long exhibition at Kaohsiung’s Kao Yuan University of Technology
****Notthatbalai Art Festival 2007 (July 21 – August 5), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
*Scholarly essay leading to the work published (HK Film Archive): Chinese version / English version


2005, 26 分鐘


無論如何,誠意邀請觀眾與我共睹一個本來已經似是而非的愛情家庭倫理故事如何逐步化解、肢離破碎,以至朽壞。《戲門》由三部分組成,從(一)“穿/串門 ٠入 戲”到(二)“戲框 - 情愛短路”到(三)“機關重重”,影像的敍事功能漸漸淡化而失效,化為零丁的符碼、象徵、無特殊用途的裝置,任憑誰來詮釋橫添意義,或者變成文字書寫的附 從品,最後更淪為可隨意挪移的“死物”,給割開、擠破、塗改、刪除。反之,文字的書寫越來越超前,表達性逐漸取替呆濟的人物影像,甚至如猛獸般一口一口的 吃掉影像,無休的吞吐著、嘶叫著。

《戲門》從香港五 六十年代粵語長片中找來“現成”材料進行戲弄。幾套參照和挪用的作品均為播音皇帝李我先生天空小說改編,由不同人導演的電影,當中展列著的,卻是文藝片的 通式和濫調,尤其情節鋪陳峰迴路轉的偽造性如何把某種道德立場推為人性所出的情理,構成真理一般的性別規範,可真叫絕!於是我決定遊戲一番。正如 Salen 和 Zimmerman在Rules of Play一書中說的∶“遊戲有表徵作用,遊戲本身就是表徵”(364頁)。而我,就以表徵對策表徵,玩個不停。





《五月雨中花》上集(1960 / 秦劍導演)
《五月雨中花》下集(1960 / 秦劍導演)
《翠樓春曉》(1960 / 王天林導演)

《兩個刁蠻女三戲蕭月白》(1952 / 吳回導演)
《出穀黃鶯》(1956 / 李晨風導演)