Thursday, August 26, 2010

NEW Documentary on the guy who made MEN BEHIND THE SUN

[click the poster for bigger scan]

About a year ago I wrote about the 20 minute documentary short film CONVERSATIONS WITH T.F. MOU, directed by Dvdmaniacs member Jules L. Carrozza. Of course, I'm sure you're aware T.F. Mou is the infamous director of MAN/MEN BEHIND THE SUN, BLACK SUN: THE NANKING MASSACRE (Man Behind the Sun 4), LOST SOULS, THE TEENAGER'S NIGHTMARE (from Criminals 5), etc.

The film is available on YouTube (a legit upload as it's by the director). But lo and behold, now Carrozza has done a new documentary about T.F. Mou entitled BLACK SUNSHINE: CONVERSATIONS WITH T.F. MOU. And this time it's a "real" feature film. The trailer certainly looks awesome! There's gonna be a screening in September but needless to say it's not gonna take place in the cold, damp and forsaken outskirts of the world where I'm located. :-(
(if you watched that Motörhead short film I posted yesterday: That's exactly what it's like living here!!!).

But there's really no need for weeping (much) cos Carrozza is putting out the film on DVD already around Christmas. Just like the first film this one is made as an underground film with whatever limited financial means Jules has been able to scrape together and unfortunately this means we won't be seeing a "real" DVD release.

The problem is basically that Celestial won't allow the use of film clips unless you pay them (and apparently pay them WELL). I find it odd that they don't see the commercial potential in getting their films presented in a good documentary about one of the old Shaw Brothers directors. I'm not gonna go into a longer rant about this (cos there's a LOT to rant about in this regard) but Celestial is NOT an easy company to deal with. The mere fact that they won't allow Cantonese audio on some of the reg. 1 DVDs (altho Canto is often the intended dialect) speaks for itself. In short, Carrozza is gonna release the film on dvdr and let it fly under the radar. Well, works for me! (flying under the radar is the ONLY way to fly anyway, if you ask me. LOL). Rather a dvdr than not seeing the film at all or only getting a YouTube upload.

If you'd like to see the old docu go here. And you can read Jules' posts (on Dvdmaniacs) about the film here.

Here's a clip from MEN BEHIND THE SUN but if you're screamish you might wanna pass it by.


  1. Thanks for the shoutout. I'll probably work something out with Celestial, my only fear is that they'll try to make me buy an equal amount of footage from each movie which would sink me since LOST SOULS gets as much as screentime as nearly all his other Shaw films put together. Even in that case, they're done with the Shaw library anyways and their licenses are set to expire soonish. I think their license to release new films is already up.

  2. Btw, I always thought the lack of Canto was Image's laziness and blundering more than Celestial's interference?

    Admittedly, 99% of the American consumer public can't tell the different between Mandarin and Cantonese anyways.

  3. Hey Jules!
    No problem. It's awesome when film fans like yourself make something like this and if I help get word out to other fans then that's the least I can do. And I hope you don't get ripped off completely by Celestial!

    I really have no clue as to why they don't include those Canto tracks. I have the HK vcd of BOXER'S OMEN and it's annoying that the Canto track is only on the vcd but not the US dvd.

    And yeah you're probably right about the 99%, LOL.

  4. I'd love to see this doc. I've seen some of the more obscure of his films but not Men Behind the Sun. A very interesting director.

    BTW: Jack-- when you get vcds with L/R choices for Canto/Mandarin-- can u tell which is which?

  5. Yes, I can. I've watched these films for many yrs now and can certainly recognise the dialects. I only understand a couple of phrases tho (like "hello", "thanks", "no", "what?", haha). Cantonese is like Swedish, it's a "singing" dialect. Mandarin is like German and Danish, very hard sounding.

  6. sometimes I think I can tell and that canto is more pleasant, but I'm not always sure if I'm right-- I don't understand any words.

  7. The German and Danish vs. Swedish analogy for Mandarin and Cantonese is pretty good. Spanish vs. French is another good analogy in the Latin family. Another analogy Bey Logan once used is that the period piece that Shaw made were often in Mandarin (save for Lau Kar Leung's films) and the modern films in Cantonese because you want a Shakespeare play in the Queen's English and a Scorsese crime drama in modern colloquialism, Mandarin vs. Cantonese was similar in the eyes of Hong Kong audiences.

    Image also neglected to put Cantonese dialogue on the non-Shaw stuff they released, most of which were 80s-90s Hong Kong films primarily shown in Cantonese, so I think that points to them as the culprits.