Part of SFFILM Festival
First Night Nerves
Director Stanley Kwan is expected to attend the April 11 and April 13 screenings.
Festival favorite Stanley Kwan is one of cinema’s great directors of women, and his deliriously entertaining new film offers an almost entirely female cast. When transsexual playwright An hires two feuding actresses to star in her latest work, she has little idea of the battles for center stage that will ensue. Starring Cantopop queen Sammi Cheng as Xuling and Gigi Leung as the younger and hipper Yuwen, First Night Nerves flips effortlessly between play rehearsals and the behind-the-curtain heartbreaks and secret affairs of the squabbling stars, offering glorious melodrama throughout.
“Audiences looking for the next Crazy Rich Asians might take some delight in Stanley Kwan’s diva-licious First Night Nerves, a Feud-like behind-the-scenes rivalry which forces center stage all the drama between high-maintenance Hong Kong actresses Yuan Xiuling (Sammi Cheng) and He Yuwen (Gigi Leung) … One of Hong Kong’s only openly gay directors, Kwan has crafted a movie that’s nearly Almodóvarian in the appreciation and respect it showers upon ladies of all classes—not just the city’s Ferrari-driving super-elite, but also the loyal assistants who cook [for] and console our dueling stars.” – Peter Debruge, Variety
After getting his start as an assistant director, Stanley Kwan made his feature directing debut in 1985 with Women. Other films include Love Unto Waste (1986); Rouge (1987, Hong Kong Cinema 2016), the winner of seven Hong Kong Film Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director; Full Moon in New York (1989), winner of eight Golden Horse Film Awards, including Best Feature Film; Center Stage (1991, Hong Kong Cinema 2016); Red Rose White Rose (1995); Hold You Tight (1997); Lan Yu (2001), for which Kwan won a Golden Horse award for Best Director; Song of Everlasting Regrets (2004); and Showtime (2010). In 1999, Kwan received the Frameline Award from the San Francisco International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival.
Language Cantonese, Mandarin
Country Hong Kong/China
Director Stanley Kwan
Producer Katie Kwan, Zhang Qun, Wu Xinxin
Writer Jimmy Ngai
Editor William Chang, Shirley Yip
Cinematographer Wang Boxue
Music Yu Yat Yiu, Edgar Hung
Cast Sammi Cheng, Gigi Leung, Bai Baihe
Original Language Title Ba Ge Nuren Yi Tai Xi