Jimmy Lui is one of 2014’s Taliesin Nexus Liberty Lab For Film Fellows. He wrote and directed the short film thriller When We Meet Again. His partner fellow Nevil Jackson was the cinematographer on the project. The film is a sci-fi drama about a teacher visited by a time-traveller who tries to convince her that he knows what is best for her. Smash Cut Culture asked Jimmy Lui a few questions about the project and on himself as a filmmaker.
SCC: What drew you to be a filmmaker?
JL: A charcoal pencil. I find that movies have a certain power that other mediums do not. I grew up an Asian kid in the deep South. To say that I did not fit in with my peers is a bit of an understatement. Yet, at the movies, we were all the same. That is a pretty powerful idea. Movies can be empowering and personal and communal and inspiring and entertaining and influential.The movies I was attracted to most growing up were the films of Bruce Lee, the action films from Hong Kong and Big Trouble In Little China. Perhaps it was seeing heroes who looked like me on the screen, but I think it was more the beauty and power of the martial arts and action in those films.
When I was a teenager, I noticed that most of the movies that I loved were by the same few filmmakers. That’s when I decided that I wanted to be a filmmaker. Unlike most filmmakers of my age group who went to film school, I do not like the Star Wars films and I think Martin Scorcese is a hack. I would rather make movies in the vein of Sammo Hung, John Carpenter, Buster Keaton, Paul Vehoeven, David Cronenberg and Mel Gibson.
SCC: What inspired the story behind When We Meet Again?
JL: Total Recall. I like ideas that play with your head and I was also influenced by 12 Monkeys and the low-fi aesthetic of Primer. My mentor Daniel Knauf helped to point me in the right direction as well.
SCC: What influence, if any, do you hope this story has on the culture?
JL: I hope this story influences someone to give me a lot of money to write and direct a feature film. Ha ha. I’m not joking. If that doesn’t happen, than I hope people will realize that when someone tells you that they know what’s best for you that they are not to be trusted. It would also be nice if people learned to accept responsibility for the choices they’ve made in their lives.
Below is the trailer for the short film. Be sure to visit the film’s official Facebook page for updates on where to see the entire film.