Hollywood Taiwan: Interview with Forever Love director Kitamura Toyoharu
The epic Taiwanese love story, starring Blue Lan and Amber An, traveled to the United States this November for screenings at the San Diego Asian Film Festival and UCLA.
by Ada Tseng
Forever Love is a story that a grandfather tells his granddaughter, about how he met her grandmother. The film jumps back and forth between now and the 1960s, the golden age of Taiwanese films. Qi-sheng Liu (played by Blue Lan) is a scriptwriter, and Chiang Mei-Yue (Amber An) is a fangirl/wannabe-actress who originally found her way to the movie industry because she was stalking the dreamboat movie star, Bao-long Wan (Wang Bo-jie). Incidentally, Liu considers Wan his nemesis; though they’ve collaborated on many films together, Liu is convinced Wan ruins all his scripts with his obnoxiously over-the-top showboating.
Inspired by the era in Taiwanese history when production crews gathered in the hot spring hotels of the Beitou District to shoot movies, Forever Love borrows from real-life stories — co-director Kitamura Toyoharu conducted interviews with industry folks of the time, including director/actor Tsai Yang-ming (father of Black and White director Tsai Yueh-hsun) — but it uses this history as a jumping-off point to explore the teenage granddaughter’s imagination of an idyllic time, as her grandparents’ old-fashioned romance evolved amidst fantastical movie sets