|After its delayed screening in China, Lu Chuan's historical film The Last Supper made it's world debut on Saturday at the 37th Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).|
After its delayed screening in China, Lu Chuan's historical film The Last Supper made it's world debut on Saturday at the 37th Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).
Featuring the rise of Han Dynasty's first emperor in the Chinese history, the film depicts the famous epic story between two warlords, Liu Bang and Xiang Yu, friends who turned to be enemies in their quest for power.
The movie's world premiere drew a full-house, with hundreds of TIFF fans anxious to watch it for the very first time and to get a glimpse of the cast, including the likes of Liu Ye, Qin Lan, Lu Yulai and director Lu, who travelled all the way from China to the Canadian city of Toronto.
Silent throughout the movie, the audience erupted in applause as the credits began to roll. Though they seemed thrilled with his work, Lu was much more critical of himself.
"Today, it's my first time in the theater to see my own movie, so I don't know, but the feeling is very strange. Sometimes I felt who is the guy directed such a brutal movie," he said in a Q&A session onstage after the movie ended. "I think I saw places. If I make another movie I can improve ... if I can make this movie two times, I can make better one. But I think I tried my best."
Many movie-goers walked out satisfied. Kathryn Graham, who walked in with absolutely no knowledge of the Feast at Hong Gate or the Battle of Gaixia, said the movie kept her on her toes the whole time.
"To see it, it was a little bit gory but very real and I was very moved by it, the story right to the end, it just got me and intrigued me," she said.
There were also a lot of fellow Chinese-Canadians who wanted to see how Lu would play off the famous historical moments in his film. While the widely-known events of the Chu-Han Contention period have been depicted in numerous films, Chow was pleasantly surprised with Lu's version.
"I think it was actually really well done. I think that maybe some people went in there expecting a lot of Kung Fu and a lot more war scenes, but I think he did a really good job of telling the more emotional aspects rather than just the story itself," said Chow.
While Graham soaked in the historical contents, she said having the cast and director made her experience infinitely better.
"Just to listen to the director talk about it at the end, how he made it and what it meant to him as well, that's what TIFF's all about," she said.
The Last Supper is one of 372 films screening at TIFF and also one of 28 Chinese language films premiering this year at the festival which runs from Sept. 6 to 16.