When we last spoke with Aaron Chan, he was getting ready to present his film Stay in the 2010 edition of The Coast is Queer at the Vancouver Queer Film Festival. A year later he is back, this time with Cure(d), the story of what happens when a young man takes a cure for being gay.
“It’s a comedy,” Chan said immediately, so there was no misunderstanding. “There was something very subversive about the idea that people think there is a cure for being gay. I wanted to make fun of it.”
Having written the original Cure(d) script some four years ago, Chan resurrected the script and only recently finished the final editing, seeing his 10 to 15 hours of raw footage whittled down to the final six minute film.
In talking about getting to those six minutes, Chan invokes the filmmaking philosophy of one of America’s greatest directors, Francis Ford Coppola: “Coppola once said that making a film happens in three stages: writing, shooting and editing. You need to go into each stage with an open mind knowing that perhaps the story will change.”
Seeing himself foremost as a writer, Chan confessed that moving from pen to camera actually came about in a desire to be more recognized for his work after being ignored by the media as the writer of the critically acclaimed 2008 short On The Bus.
“With On The Bus no one wanted to talk to me as the writer of the film, they all wanted to talk to the director. I wanted some of that,” he laughed.
Attention is exactly what Chan is getting, and for good reason. With great buzz from On the Bus and Stay, Chan continues to be a young filmmaker and writer to watch.
With two films next on his list, a silent movie ghost story and a sci-fi time travel drama, we’ll just have to wait for The Coast is Queer next year to see which one makes it through the Coppola process. In the meantime, he is hopeful audiences will get a kick out of Cure(d) and what he calls his skewed view of the world.
As part of The Coast is Queer at the 2011 Vancouver Queer Film Festival
Saturday, August 20, 2011 at 9:30pm
Empire Granville 7 Cinemas, 820 Granville Street
Visit http://queerfilmfestival.ca for more information.