Double Vision (2002 film)
DVD cover for Double Vision
|Directed by||Chen Kuo-fu|
|Produced by||Chen Kuo-fu,
|Written by||Chen Kuo-fu,
|Starring||Tony Leung Ka-fai,
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|20 May 2002|
|Language||Mandarin, Taiwanese, English|
Double Vision (Chinese: 雙瞳; pinyin: Shuang tong) is a 2002 film directed by Chen Kuo-fu. The plot is about an FBI agent working with a troubled Taiwanese cop to hunt for a serial killer who is embedding a mysterious black fungus in the brains of the victims. It was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival. Part of the film was shot in Arrow Studio.
- Tony Leung Ka-fai – Huang Huo-tu
- David Morse – Kevin Richter
- Rene Liu – Ching-fang
- Leon Dai – Li Feng-bo
- Yang Kuei-Mei – Coroner
- Wei-Han Huang – Mei-Mei
- Sihung Lung
- Hannah Lin
A troubled police detective Huang Huo-tu suffers from a severe mental breakdown as his life is falling apart. He is relegated to a mundane job as a Foreign Affairs Officer as a payback for blowing the whistle on corruption in the force. His young daughter is suffering from the fallout of being held hostage in a police crossfire. His colleagues have turned on him and his wife Ching-fang is filing for divorce. Huang is a Waisheng ren (Mainland Chinese) in Taiwan and speaks with heavy Cantonese accent. He is also able to speak English and Tagalog.
Suddenly, a series of bizarre deaths in Taipei baffle local investigators. A Catholic priest of foreign nationality also suffered a horrible death of disembowelment. The priest is involved in Taiwan-US military trade, so a FBI agent Kevin Richter is called in to help and Huang is called in for liasoning. Kevin is the topmost serial killer expert in the field, before being called to Taiwan, Kevin was puzzled by another series of murders in US, in which all victims look willing to die.
The crime scenes imply involvement of supernatural force. In one case a businessman froze to death in his office - in the middle of a heatwave; the mistress of a prominent official calls the fire department and is later found burned to death - with no sign of fire in her apartment. Richter partners Huang who has less trouble believing that something supernatural is behind them, and on that angle he persuades him to investigate a local cult. After consulting a scholar in Academia Sinica, Huang and Kevin find the serial killing follows a Taoist belief that one must fulfill five suffering required to become a Xian, an immortal being. According to legends, the one who can succeed the five rituals is born with double pupil.
They also find that all victims have done something against their conscience, and that a kind of fungus was used to induce hallucination, pleasure and guilt which make victims kill themselves. An advanced technology was used to spread the fungus, and the Police trace this technology to two boss of an electronics company in Hsinchu Science Park. The two boss has spent their fortune and technology to move a Taoist temple into their company, where many cult believers gather. The police enter the temple, but the die heart believers begin a ritualistic massacre which kills almost all police and believers. After the massacre Kevin and Huang find a seemingly innocent girl survivor, and the case seems to close.
However the next day Huang finds Kevin dead from swallowing his tongue, which is the fifth suffering required. Huang find that both him and Kevin are infected with the fungus by the girl. Huang begins to hallucinate with the guilt he holds toward his wife and daughter, and returns to the temple to confront the girl survivor, who is the mastermind the believers followed. The girl is born with double pupil in her eye and believes that by having Huang kill her she can complete the fifth requirement and become immortal. Huang kills the girl and is overwhelmed by hallucination and guilts, but in the end he is allowed to return to his wife and child. The film ends with a Buddhist Gatha, which the late and DVD version is "因愛生憂,因愛生懼,若遠離愛者,無憂亦無懼。"(In Mainland China versions 懼 becomes 怯) but the first screened version with less violence scenes is "love is immortal" (有愛不死)
The film is a Columbia Pictures production, and the director Chen Kuo-fu, at the time, was the head of Columbia Pictures' Asian branch. It is one of a series of attempts by Columbia Pictures to invest and produce Asian movies with its Asian branch. The film impressed Taiwanese directors with its "Hollywood way" of filmmaking. With this film the director Chen Kuo-Fu accumulated his experience in international collaboration and went on to work in China. The film's assistant director Wei Te-sheng and producer Jimmy Huang said they were stimulated by the big-budget effects of the film, and determined to make a movie on big budget. They later collaborated in local hit Cape No. 7 and big budget epic Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale. The film's screenwriter Su Chao-Pin later directed Silk. Leon Dai, a supporting actor, later directed No Puedo Vivir Sin Ti. They said that they were stimulated by this production.
- "Festival de Cannes: Double Vision". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-10-30.
- Teng Sue-feng. Translated by David Smith. "Chen Kuo-fu--Back With a "Message". Taiwan Panorama. Dec. 2009.
- Teng Sue-feng. "Can the Blockbuster Save Taiwan Film?" ---. Dec. 2009. Taiwan Panorama. "Biggest Production in Taiwan Film History-Seediq Bale". Taiwan Panorama. Feb. 2009.
- Kuo Li-chuan. Translated by David Smith. "The Making of No Puedo Vivir Sin Ti". Taiwan Panorama. October. 2009.