SNOW FLOWER director Wayne Wang talks to Splash Magazine
You could easily make the argument that Wayne Wang is one of the filmmakers that understands Asian women or really just women the best. His 1993 feature The Joy Luck Club is a staunch favorite, and this year's SNOW FLOWER AND THE SECRET FAN is no less and ode to Chinese feminity. Splash Magazine asked Wayne a few questions, and got the director chatting about the duality of filming in Chinese and English, the modern culture of Shanghai, and possibly being a woman in a past life (or so his wife jokes).
Her's an excerpt in which Wayne talks about his relationship with women from The Joy Luck Club to SNOW FLOWER:
Between directing The Joy Luck Club and this film, do you think you really understand women?
Wang: (Laughs) My wife jokingly says that I was a woman in my last lifetime. Ive answered this question so many times so I think Ill answer in a different way. When my dad was born, he was taken to a fortuneteller who said that he would not have enough wood in his life. Wood is one of the very key elements in Chinese philosophy. So she named him King of the Forest and the characters from the forest are all made of wood. When my older brother was born, he was named Prince of the Forest. When I came along, my dad really loved John Wayne so he wanted my first name to be Wayne, but had to find a Chinese word within the family of wood that sounded like Wayne. He ended up with a word that means a small bud of a tree that in Chinese readings is a feminine name. So when I went to China to do publicity, everyones first reaction was that they thought I was a woman director. I had to explain that its just my name that is feminine and that I got my name from a macho actor called John Wayne. In the Chinese culture you have both the male and female sides within you (Yin and Yang) and youre supposed to balance the two. I think maybe very early on, because of being so close to my grandmother and my mother, I was able to tap into the feminine side very easily.
SNOW FLOWER AND THE SECRET FAN is out now. More info can be found on our Theater Post!