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  • Writer's picturePeter K F Cheung SBS

The Way

  1. FADE IN.


  2. Act 1


  3. INT. SITTING ROOM - DAY


  4. PETER is reading a newspaper.


  5. PETER (V.O.): Oh, there's an exhibition of Hong Kong's traditional cultural expression. I've never been to the Public Records Office too. Let me do my local tour.


  6. INT. PUBLIC RECORDS OFFICE - DAY


  7. Exhibition room. A video is being shown on a screen. Peter is watching it alone.


  8. PETER (V.O.): The century-old Cheung Chau Da Jiu Festival practising Taoist ceremony was a response to a plague too.


  9. Recalling.


  10. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Albert Camus wrote his novel called The Plague in 1947, highlighting individuals' powerlessness to affect their destinies. He sees that as an underlying absurd human condition.


  11. Pausing.


  12. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): But ordinary people in Hong Kong have been taking the Taoist way, attempting to contain the plague and mitigating the damages - I see that as performing art.


  13. Pausing.


  14. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Lao Tzu is the father of Taoism. Despite the apparent adversity, Lao Tsu observes that the underlying harmony is Tao - the Way of the world. The Way is one traditional Chinese way to live a good life, through effortless action.


  15. Pausing.


  16. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I think I've only begun living a good life when I turned 60. Let me go to a nearby gallery to see some conventional visual arts.


  17. Act 2


  18. INT. EXHIBITION HALL - DAY


  19. Elegant environment. Sketches and drawings are on display. Peter is appreciating them alone.


  20. PETER (V.O.): While the works might not look that special, I understand the kind of labour, skill and judgment that the authors have put into them.


  21. FLASHBACK


  22. INT. LECTURE ROOM - NIGHT (1975)


  23. A few dozen STUDENTS including Peter (21) are drawing lines on scrapbooks.


  24. PETER (V.O.): I've to practise drawing lines before I can sketch anything.


  25. Later, observing an apple from a fixed angle, Peter begins to sketch a replica of it slowly.


  26. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Just to depict a single and fixed form of a subject is hard enough.


  27. Erasing his sketch time and again, Peter looks frustrated.


  28. Pausing.


  29. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Even plain drawing is so hard for me. I'm changing the form of the apple. I can't simplify what I see in my sketch.


  30. Pausing.


  31. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): And I don't have any idea to convey in my sketches either. It's quite meaningless to imitate.


  32. END FLASHBACK


  33. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Then, I didn't have the patience to draw hundreds or thousands of bad drawings. I turned to learning car-repairing instead, as I would know what's wrong with my car and how bad the situation was.


  34. Pausing.


  35. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): But I believe I've a sense of beauty. I capture nice photos.


  36. Three LADIES appear.


  37. LADY#1: Could you take photos for us?


  38. PETER: Yes.


  39. Lady#1 passes her smart phone to Peter.


  40. PETER: How should the photos be taken?


  41. LADY#1: You're the author. You decide.


  42. PETER (V.O.): Okay, I do it my way.

  43. Having captured the moments that are gone forever, Peter returns the smart phone to lady#1.


  44. EXT. PROMENADE - DAY


  45. Sunny. Peter walks by leisurely, taking photos of Hong Kong's landscape at times.


  46. PETER (V.O.): I do try to represent my ideas in my photos in my artistic way. Whether others can get them, and treat them as poetic or art-like is a matter of their appreciation.


  47. Thinking.


  48. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): To use a two-dimensional visual representation to communicate certain provoking ideas has limitations, I believe.


  49. Pausing.


  50. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I prefer to make them appropriately explicit through texts with the aids such as photos, so that readers and me are in the same picture.


  51. Pausing.


  52. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): The works exhibited here and there are limited and spectators are few. How can they have high impact?


  53. Recalling.


  54. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Even Vincent Van Gogh's works weren't recognized before he's dead.


  55. Act 3


  56. INT. STUDY - DAY


  57. Peter is watching YouTube - a documentary about Thomas Hobbes.


  58. PETER (V.O.): His work Leviathan is about the structure of society and the legitimacy of the government.


  59. Pausing.


  60. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): It's interesting to hear now that he wrote Leviathan when he was already over 60 - quite an encouragement to me.


  61. INT. SITTING ROOM - NIGHT


  62. Peter is watching TV news.


  63. PETER (V.O.): Coronavirus has returned to New Zealand? It claimed it had effectively eliminated the coronavirus not too long ago


  64. Pausing.


  65. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): Just on the coronavirus statistics, Hong Kong fares better than New Zealand. Anyway, politics is the art of the possible.


  66. Thinking.


  67. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): In Hong Kong, the Cheung Chau Da Jiu is a good way to deal with plagues psychologically, attracting tourists at the same time.


  68. Reflecting.


  69. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): Whether it's right or wrong, good or bad, I've my way in my world now.


  70. FADE OUT.


  71. THE END


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