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Films From Taiwan

Cheng Wen-Tang has emerged as a shining new cinematic light in Taiwan. He has crafted a superb, idiosyncratic debut that will ensure his name is one to watch. ... "Taiwan, an island too small to carry such pain. Director Cheng Wen-Tang tells the story of the natives, long hidden in shadows of ... Read more
A truly beautiful meditation on the poetics of optics, film and foliage; relax, look, listen, enjoy. ... --- D/S Huang Ya-Li P Huang Ya-Li, Chang Wen-Pei WS Huang Ya-Li L Chinese w/English subtitles TD 35mm/2008 ... Read more
... ... From TV talk show ritual to rock stardom dreams, pop culture is the site for magic and spirituality amidst today's soulless materialism. For teenage Ahda, son of a hilariously bad quack herbalist, everyday life is a pressure cooker of college entrance exams, army conscription papers, and ... Read more
In a fictional world transformed by a deadly airborne virus, a young girl enjoys one last day with the boy she likes. Picking up two awards at the International Critics' Week at Cannes, [Respire] portrays a hauntingly possible future, inspired by the almost-forgotten SARS. --- D/S/WS Wi Ding Ho P ... Read more
... ... Taken from a novel by a renowned Chinese writer living in the United States, this is a highly controlled, beautifully visualised tale about a young woman's life portrayed over a twenty-year period. Shot entirely in a studio with three sets employed to mark the various stages of Ytng-ti's ... Read more
A mother and her intellectually handicapped son arrive at a remote, provincial train station to sit on the platform and watch express trains zoom by. This sublime and beautiful film won the Best Short Film award at Venice 2005. ... Read more
Song of the Exile is a film that Ann Hui has wanted to make for years, a panoramic account of a troubled mother-daughter relationship that spans some twenty-five years. It is inspired by Hui's own life story, and deeply rooted in the events that have shaped East Asian history since the end of the ... Read more
Here's another feather in the cap for Chinese cinema, this time from Edward Yang, a relatively new director (his second feature) who was born on the mainland, studied for a while in the US, and now lives and works in Taiwan TAIPEI STORY is a refreshing, intelligent study of a disintegrating ... Read more
“[A] quietly stunning drama which sees the various problems facing a rapidly modernised city reflected in the lives of a dozen or so subtly observed characters.” - Time OutStarring MIFF regular, filmmaker Hou Hsiao-hsien (Three Times, MIFF 2006, The Flight of the Red Balloon) as a washed-up ... Read more
“The film suggests that we all have our ways of ‘terrorizing' each other, and that we'd all like our lives to be as coherent and resolved as fiction. Yang reaches high, and his aim is true.” - Time OutThe compartmentalised nature of urban relationships provides the blueprint upon which the ... Read more
“The subtlety of Yang and [actress Sylvia] Chang merge together to form an irresistible emotional force.” - Toronto International Film FestivalThe award-winning debut feature of Australian cinematographer Christopher Doyle (Invisible Waves, MIFF 06), That Day, On the Beach is a potent comment ... Read more
Wei and Jei are neighbours and best friends. The two 19-year-olds each live with their widowed fathers and annoying siblings in the suburbs of Taipei. However they couldn't be less alike in character and temperament. Wei, the more grounded of the two, is promoted from a parking valet to a debt ... Read more
Hong Kong's film industry continues to throw up surprises and new talents, and few in recent years have been as surprising and talented as Tsui Hark whose first feature The Butterfly Murders has been described as one of the most spectacular directorial debuts of the year. ... The new epoch, at the ... Read more
A haunting depiction of loss and loneliness, channelled through the eyes of a child. ... When his father dies, with his mother long absent, ten year-old Xiang is alone. Caught stealing from other people's lunchboxes by the school janitor, social services track down Xiang's long estranged mother and ... Read more
With a week until the 21st century dawns, Taiwan is drenched by an unending rainstorm and scourged by a mysterious disease that has reached epidemic propor­tions. The government decrees a massive evacuation from the contaminated zone, the remaining residents are warned that garbage will go ... Read more
The Personals is a cleverly constructed, ironic comedy of manners that's exceptionally accessible to western audiences without compromising its identity. A sleeper hit at Cannes 1999, the film involves Wu, a pret­ty but far from glamourous woman in her early 30s. A comfortably off ... Read more
Possessed of a unique melancholic but never indulgent or nostalgic vision, and with nine successes over the last decade, Taiwan's Hou Hsiao-Hsien is unquestionably an international great. His 1991 historical epic City Of Sadness was an enormous box office smash in Taiwan, which set him the ... Read more
A man lies dead in a suburban street, armed police surround a fiat, an Eurasian girl escapes from the scene of the crime, a young photographer snaps the proceedings. The setting is Taipei but it could be any city, anywhere. Edward Yang's latest brainteaser juggles a whole range of characters ... Read more
"Hou Xiaoxian's overwhelmingly moving film is at least 70% autobiographical: these are remembered scenes from his own mischievous childhood and near-delinquent adolescence, and the fact that he speaks the opening and closing voice-overs himself confirms the intimacy and candour of the memories. But ... Read more
Joint winner of the Golden Bear at this year's Berlin Film Festival, The Wedding Banquet represents yet another thematically daring, thoroughly entertaining film from Taiwan. An engaging social comedy with sly political undertones, the movie's farcical fulcrum, namely a marriage of mutual ... Read more
Nineteen twenties China, a time of transtion and hope, as the feudal society reluctantly bows to the promise of a new republic. In the remote North West, barely touched by change for thousands of years, a young girl is being carried to an arranged marriage. One of her bearers, a peasant, battles to ... Read more
Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-hsien is certainly one of the greatest living filmmakers - and this new masterpiece acts as undeniable proof. It tells three love stories set in different eras; The vignettes, though not ostensibly related, speak to each other on the profound themes of love's fragility ... Read more
[Thunder Lannyang] is an elegant portrait of Taiwanese music and family tradition interwoven with a personal history. Jin-tsai Chuan is one of the few remaining exponents of Baguan traditional opera. As Taiwan changes irreversibly, his music and life story offer insights into a forgotten ... Read more
Languid pace, gorgeous photography and a simple but emotive plot make this superb featurette one of the treasures worth unearthing at this year's Festival. Mo is a withdrawn and introspective high-schooler who likes to hypnotize himself by listening to meditation tapes. A burgeoning interest in ... Read more
"Music, dance and a gentle dash of romance are the crowdpleasing ingredients of Touch of the Light." – Variety ... In the heart of modern Taiwan, two young artists find themselves cast adrift. Huang, a blind pianist, struggles to adapt in the prestigious arts college he has been accepted ... Read more
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