Filmgoers are often fascinated by where writers come up with their story ideas. Some take inspiration from personal experiences, some from dreams and some, like filmmaker Jason Karman, from a hot pot.
While it may sound like an odd premise on which to base a movie, Karman is serious in talking about how his latest film I’m In The Mood For Love, came about as he realized that not too many films have revolved around Chinese fondue. But food is, Karman reminds us, the basis for so many of our interactions with others.
“The story is about a man who, trying to get over a past love, unexpectedly meets his ex at a restaurant,” said Karman. “Through the song I’m in the Mood for Love the man finds out that he is okay and ready to move on.”
Filmed old school, using the 11,000 feet of 35mm film he won at the now defunct Kitsilano Film Festival in 2009 for his documentary short State of Yo, Karman says this particular story lent itself to film rather than on a digital medium.
“Creating this particular film on celluloid was a conscious decision I made,” said Karman. “The story is about vulnerability and for me celluloid lends more to that quality.”
Filmed during the Vancouver Winter Olympics last year, Karman completed the film in April 2010 and has already seen it shown at Frameline in San Francisco and Toronto’s Inside Out. But being back home and at the Vancouver Queer Film Festival is just as important for a young local filmmaker like Karman.
“I’ve shown three or four films now at the Vancouver Queer Film Festival,” said Karman. “It is the only venue for local queer filmmakers like me to express ourselves.”
And while he considers himself a queer Asian filmmaker, Karman also says that doesn’t define who is and his desire to make this particular story more universal.
“The characters are Asian but I didn’t just want Asians to watch it,” he said. “I chose a popular song to help make the film accessible to all demographics and ages.”
With another short just completed and two more ideas, including a gay Christmas movie, in pre-production, Karman is sure to prove that universality is possible even if you identify as a queer, Asian or anything else for that matter.
I’m In The Mood For Love
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.