Wim Wenders turns 'Page' in Taipei

'Wings of Desire' director teams with first-time helmer

TAIPEI -- German helmers Wim Wenders is in town this week helping first-time director Arvin Chen scout locations for "Taipei First Page."

Wenders is executive producing the feature film, an extended adaptation of Chen's USC film school thesis project, "Mei," which was completed in 2006.

"Both Arvin and I share a love for films that are portraits of cities," Wenders said of the collaboration. "He's got great locations, great actors and, I think, a great crew."

Wenders learned of Chen's script through Green Sky Films, which worked with the pair independently before the two started collaborating a year ago.

The German director of "Wings of Desire" and "Paris, Texas" is known for capturing a sense of wanderlust and search for identity. Chen, who was born in Taipei but grew up in northern California, is no stranger to dislocation.

"In many ways, I look at this city from a foreigner's perspective," he told reporters, alternating fluidly between Mandarin and English.

"Taipei First Page" will be a romantic comedy that takes place over the course of a day in a bustling night market. Chen calls it an "homage" to the French New Wave.

Wenders said he'll leave the first-time director alone during filming because, as a one-time young director himself, he didn't like having producers around.

"When it comes time to edit, though, you can expect a visit," he said, patting Chen on the shoulder.

"Taipei First Page" is scheduled for release in 2009.
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