Tea

Frank Scheffer Long documentary - 2005 - 96 min.

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Director Scheffer registered a performance of the Tea Opera by Chinese composer Tan Dun (who won an Oscar in 2001 with his score for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon). Scheffer interlaces the images with interviews with Dun, stage director Pierre Audi and librettist Xu Ying, about the opera and the role tea and oriental philosophy play in this work. Using monochrome, sometimes abstract images (in yellow, blue, red and green), close-ups of plants and flowers and images of the Chinese nature and people (sometimes accelerated or decelerated, sometimes in black-and-white), he mirrors the stylised opera performance and Dun's reflective music. According to Dun, tea is not only the `mirror of the soul', but also of the `entire history' and `all human activities'. This primarily concerns the ingestion of the beverage, as is sung in the opera: `Growing tea is hard, picking tea is harder, but enjoying tea is the hardest!' Scheffer also incorporates images of a tea ceremony, the traditional, ritual way of drinking tea.

Credits

Director(s) Frank Scheffer
Script Pay-Uun Hiu
Producer(s) Frank Scheffer
Production Company
Director of Photography
Editing
Sound Design
Sound on Set
Music
TV Company
Distribution
Production Country
Netherlands