I woke up at two pm and it’s
after five pm by the time we get back to Lille Buddha,
everyone’s bright eye and bushy tail except for my crew. I leave
David to cover the civilized dinning room while I dive into the
more challenging deep end of the kitchen.
The kitchen is
typically Cantonese like their traffic. It is chaos, but if you
groove with everyone’s energy and flow, there is a harmonious
madness that won’t let you collide into any accidents. I have to
admit, I thrive on busy kitchens with Hong Kong style chaos and
efficiency for shooting. When I click with the energy flow… it
reminds me of sparring… could be almost as good as sex when you
hit all the right marks or as my Steadicam instructor Paul
Taylor use to call the “sweet spots”.
This midnight sun might be a novelty at first, but it can drive
you bonkers after a few days. Having months of eternal night
without daylight in winter and then switching to the other
extremes of no nights at all for the summer months would give me
major depression issues if I live here.
It’s one am in the
morning, but it’s high noon here in the land of the midnight
sun. I’m out shooting the deserted streets playing with color
manipulation and time lapse to accent the mood. It’s very
Hitchcock with the birds hovering the deep burgundy sky over
this sleepy town and not a single other life form in sight.
That's what Cheuk told me he wants.
Tonight we interview the kitchen workers. Their stories remind
me of those I used to hear about illegal uncles who slept in the
basements of Chinese restaurants. They lived in self-imposed
isolation to dodge the RCMP crackdown on illegal “paper sons”
before the Canadian government gave amnesty in the 60’s. My
father was among these uncles.
The sun finally breaks out on our last day before we head off to the
airport. But it’s still not warm enough to get back into my warm
We rent a car from Oslo airport and drive to Gotenberg where
we meet Ting’s sister Wai and their mother Mrs. Lee. David is
down again with something. These young pups just can’t keep up
with the vets.
We’re off to the Swedish Cup with Wai to watch
her boyfriend Anders in the yacht races. Wai left Hong Kong when
she was only six and has been in Sweden since. She looks and
acts like the girls in Causeway Bay, but she only dates Swedish
While everyone suntans patiently until the wind picks up for
the races, we take Wai away for an interview in an old stone
tower. Cheuk wants to shoot this like a Bergman film. So I
pretend to be Sven Nykvist and am confident that the sun will
shine beautifully through the window bathing our Fai Wong
wannabe. Wai had apparently done a quick stint in the Hong Kong
film industry where she was exoticized because of her Swedish
We head back to Gotenberg… shoot a bit of ambient and drive back
to Oslo the next day to catch our flight home.