ASIAN FILM - Article
14:56 - 18th February 2013, by David West

UFO in Her Eyes

NEO's David West talks to Guo Xiaolu about the transformation of China, Big Brother and tormenting Udo Kier in the making of UFO In Her Eyes.

Kwok Yun (Shi Ke) is on her way home from an illicit tryst with her married lover, Headmaster Yee, in the small rural community of Three-Headed Bird Village, when she finds a shiny fragment on the ground. Holding it up to the light, Kwok Yun sees a glowing object shaped like a dumpling in the sky - and passes out. She reports the occurrence to the head of the village, Chief Chang (Mandy Zhang), who decides that Three-Headed Bird Village has just experienced its very first UFO encounter. A police officer is dispatched from Beijing to gather statements about the incident, even as Chief Chang uses the sighting as the springboard to transform the quiet village into a tourist destination and promotes the hapless Kwok Yun as the perfect example of a 'model peasant'.

UFO In Her Eyes is the second fiction feature from Guo Xiaolu, a novelist, documentary filmmaker and director whose first narrative feature, the drama She, A Chinese, was released here in 2010. Much like her character Kwok Yun, Xiaolu was born and raised in a small Chinese village. Her new film is a satire about the collision between communism and capitalism in modern China that started life as a novel, published in English in 2009.

"I wrote the novel a few years ago and then adapted it into a script," says Xiaolu. "I started as a novelist and wrote several novels in English and in Chinese. There were none of my previous novels that I was thinking of making into a film. This was the only novel where I thought I want to make this into a film. I don't trust film scriptwriting, I don't trust starting with a very dry film script. I trust prose and the novel form so I wrote it as a novel first."
This feature is an extract from a larger article which originally appeared in issue 109.

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