Monday, July 28, 2014

Ed Lin's "Ghost Month"

Ed Lin is the author of several books and is an all-around standup kinda guy. Waylaid and This Is a Bust were both published by Kaya Press in 2002 and 2007, respectively, and both were widely praised. Both also won the Members’ Choice Awards in the Asian American Literary Awards. His third book, Snakes Can’t Run, was published by Minotaur Books in April 2010; it was loved by many and also won an Asian American Literary Award, and was followed by in One Red Bastard 2012. Lin, who is of Taiwanese and Chinese descent, is the first author to win three Asian American Literary Awards.

Here Lin dreamcasts an adaptation of his new novel, Ghost Month:
If Ghost Month were made into a film, as the author I would have little to no power in casting it.

I'd be pleased, however, to see in the protagonist Jing-nan's role Mark Chao, who memorably portrayed a guy being raised by a single mom who goes on to join a gang for protection in the Taiwanese film Monga. He can appear conflicted and yet still resolute on what he's decided to do. Most importantly he looks like a music snob. I can see his eyes rolling if someone said Interpol were the new Joy Division.

I'd like to see Louis Ozawa Changchien in the role of the Taiwanese American. Is he a villain? Or is he really looking out for Jing-nan? Louis has a great menacing side, as shown in Predators and The Bourne Legacy, and he can also pull off an intelligent, calculating demeanor, as he did in the play Warrior Class. Bonus: Louis is a Taiwanese American.

I think Yaoyao (Kuo Shu-yao) should portray Nancy, a grad student at Taida and the former mistress of a jailed executive. Yaoyao's often dismissed as the singer with the baby face and big breasts. Yet she has acting chops--in fact, she won Best New Performer in Taiwan's Academy Awards last year for her role in Step Back to Glory (about a tug-of-war team). She's done dumbass commercials and starred in insipid videos, but I saw an interview with her where she dropped the fake smiles and was real. Yaoyao's life could have been much different. Her father passed away when she was still a young teen and she had to work in a restaurant to help support her family. She's no charity case now, and the role wouldn't be a gimme.

Chen Chih-yuan should portray Dwayne, the main cook at Jing-nan's night-market stall, Unknown Pleasures. There are a number of parallels with Dwayne here: Chen is of Amis descent; was a professional baseball player; and currently runs a barbeque joint on Taiwan's east coast. Chen, like Dwayne, also looks bad as hell. Sure, Chen was indicted for game-fixing that ended his playing career, but those charges were all bullshit.
Learn more about the book and author at Ed Lin's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: Snakes Can't Run.

The Page 69 Test: One Red Bastard.

Writers Read: Ed Lin (May 2012).

--Marshal Zeringue