/ TIME AND PLACE / STORY,
CHARACTERS AND HARDWARE
MAKE-UP AND LIGHTING / PRODUCTION
THE END OF THE EARTH IS MY HOME is a modern
fantasy inspired by several classic stories combined with
the writer/director's travel experience. The story is primarily
an amalgamation of elements from the traditional Asian Stories
of the Monkey King and Bram Stoker's Dracula.
'Monkey' is one of the great quest stories,
a 16th century Chinese epic called Xi Yu Chi ( Journey to
the West ) by Wu Ch'eng En. It is probably most familiar to
western audiences from a Japanese television series from the
late 1970's called 'Monkey Magic'. These tales describe demons
and monsters that threaten Tripitaka, a Buddhist monk, on
a journey to India to find scriptures.
'Monkey Magic' drew from the later, picaresque
and episodic passages of these tales and emphasized their
surreal and comic aspects. This film looks towards the earlier,
lesser known and darker chapters which deal with the Monkey
King's birth and illumination and with the perplexity evoked
by new found immortality. Arthur Whalley, in his translation
from the 1940’s, calls Monkey "... unique in its
combination of beauty with absurdity, of profundity with nonsense".
It is this duality that informs the story of this film as
The world of this film is also derived from
the Buddhist world of the Monkey myths, where time in Heaven
is not like earthly time. When Monkey spends time in Heaven
decades pass by for the mortal monkeys he has left on the
earth below. Similarly, when he is banished to the underworld,
he spends aeons in darkness while daily life for the monkeys
above progresses as normal. This three-tiered time structure
has been grafted onto the fictional world of this film, manifesting
itself literally within the architecture and on the streets
of a city.
Monkey was originally set in China in 630
AD, this film updates the story elements to a modern fictitious
setting - an island called 'Hai-Wan', in the 'Bay of Thunder'.
Most elements of the original story are replaced by contemporary
equivalents. The monsters and demons of the original tales
are now human. The dialogue, however, retains its mannered
tone. This is intended to create the feeling of an island
out of time, that is a world unto itself.
It is in the subject of immortality that
these elements from Monkey overlap and combine with elements
from Bram Stoker's 'Dracula'. The time structure allows characters
to almost materialize and de-materialize, as elusively as
vampires, and the vehicles and transport systems of the futuristic
city recall the Count's unearthly driver-less carriages. The
immortal characters, not specified as vampires or zombies,
but rather treated simply as spirits - are represented by
blue skin – a device common in Japanese cinema and stage
for representing ghosts or spirits, another element which
overlaps with the traditional imagery of the pale complexion
of the vampire.
The city itself is a mish-mash of Asian,
Middle Eastern, Russian and European communities, providing
different cultural backgrounds for the different districts
of the island.