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Da wan (2001) - Plot Summary Poster

(2001)

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Summaries

  • Yankie director Don Tyler faces mounting insecurity and declining health while on location in Beijing, so his assistant hires down-and-out camerman YoYo to take the reins. Scrambling, studio boss sells the sagging picture to a Japanese media company. But YoYo is determined to upstage the whole production by granting the director's wish to have a grand "comedy funeral". To raise the money for it, he auctions off advertising and sponsorships for the funeral to companies around the world. But wait...is Don getting better?

  • Aged famed American director Don Tyler is in Beijing to film a big budget remake - in his mind, a more authentic Chinese cultural version - of The Last Emperor (1987). His Chinese-American assistant, Lucy, hires native Chinese and non-English speaker YoYo to be the cameraman for a behind the scenes documentary; YoYo is just to shoot whatever he sees with no editorializing. Part way through the filming, Tyler gets depressed and loses his artistic vision for the movie. Simultaneously, he learns that he is being fired. Tyler, YoYo and Lucy have a philosophical discussion on the similarities of the uplifting feeling of attending the funeral of the elderly and of comedy movies, after which Tyler requests from his new friend YoYo a "comedy funeral". After Tyler faints and goes into a coma, YoYo, thinking that Tyler is about to die, goes ahead with the planning of what he believes is Tyler's final wish, the comedy funeral to be bigger than Tyler's last movie. Because of the astronomical cost, YoYo and his funeral planner Louis Wang (an event promoter by trade), have to come up with some creative financing. Lucy, however, is certain that Tyler will come out of his coma, but still goes along with the funeral planning. But what will happen to YoYo and his plans if Tyler does awaken?

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