Storms halt Tempest

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 30 October, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 30 October, 1994, 12:00am

CHEN Kaige may have gained the mainland authorities' permission to shoot his new epic, Tempest Moon starring Leslie Cheung Kwok-wing in the PRC, but that hasn't stopped the award-winning director from running into serious production difficulties.

The director of Farewell To My Concubine has had to call a halt to production on the made-in-China film after two months, in the wake of a series of snags which culminated in the reported firing of a senior member of the cast. Although the director has remained tight-lipped, sources indicate that leading Taiwanese actress Jean Wong Ching-ying wasn't up to the job. Chen is said to be scouring Beijing for a mainland Chinese replacement. Cinematographer Chris Doyle, meanwhile, is in Taiwan.

Lurid reports from the set of the film, which is being shot on location in Beijing, Shanghai and Suzhou, claim the production has so far been rocked by an abortion, two attempted rapes and two attempted suicides.

Like Lifetimes, the last film from Zhang Yimou (who has himself been in trouble with Beijing), Tempest Moon is an ambitious project spanning several decades of China's turbulent recent history.