賽德克·巴萊 | Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale

Warriors of the Rainbow

Set in 1930’s Formosa – now Taiwan – Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale tells the true story of the Wushe Incident in which aboriginal Seediq tribe warrior Mouna Rudo led his people to rebel against the Japanese occupation. Rudo’s men of 300 fought with ancient gun, spears and minimal weaponry and seeking to reclaim their land, their dignity and their honor, they took on the Japanese army of 3000 for two weeks.

Directed by Te-Sheng Wei | Starring : Ching-Tai Lin, Umin Boya, Masanobu Andô, Vivian Hsu, Mei-Ling Lo | Presented at Venice Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Pusan Film Festival, Vancouver Film Festival, Dubai Film Festival

当爱来的时候 | When Love Comes

When Love Comes

Chang Tso-Chi’s wonderful new film – his most achieved since The Best of Times – is about the members of a family. They come from Kinmen Island, a dot in the sea just off the coast of mainland China which for many years bore the brunt of China’s enmity towards Taiwan, but have settled in the Taipei suburbs to run a modest restaurant. The family has secrets which don’t come out until one member dies (without giving too much away, we can say they have to do with maternity), but there are no great melodramatic revelations. Women dominate the family; the men are a seemingly henpecked husband, nicknamed Dark Face, an autistic uncle who hates the number ‘3’ and has a real talent for ‘naïve’ drawing, and a new grandson, born in unusual circumstances in the opening scene. The women range from a bossy matriarch to a teenager struggling with the realisation that she made the wrong choice of boyfriend. Chang stirs them all together in episodes which have the authentic rhythms of family life and none of the contrivances of soap opera. He observes them with the kind of comic warmth last seen in the films of Edward Yang.

Directed by Tso-chi Chang | Starring : Yijie Li, Yushun Lin, Zihua He, Xuefeng Lu, Meng-jie Gao | Presented at Pusan Film Festival, London Film Festival, Rotterdam Film Festival

第四张画 | The Fourth Portrait

Fourth Portrait

Ten year-old Xiang faces a lonely future after his father dies. Just when he thinks he’s going to spend his life in the orphanage, his estranged mother shows up. And his life changes forever… A loveless mother, a hateful stepfather, a chilly home. Where’s Xiang heading to? He finds comfort in drawing and his work reveals his longing for care and affection. Life is full of hope again when he meets the old school janitor who doesn’t show his kindness easily and a portly man who has crazy ideas and is haunted with nightmares of his brother. A scary truth is about to be unmasked. Will Xiang be able to depict his own image in the fourth portrait?

Directed by Mong-Hong Chung | Starring : Bi Xiao-Hai, Shih-chieh Chin, Lei Hao, Leon Dai, Terri Kwan | Presented at Locarno Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Tokyo Film Festival, Mar del Plata Film Festival, Nantes Film Festival, Cinemanila Film Festival, Melbourne Film Festival, Gindou Film Festival, Wisconsin Film Festival

第三十六个故事 | Taipei Exchanges

Taipei Exchange

This second feature by Hsiao Ya-Chuan, with leading Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-Hsien as executive producer, is a stylish and enjoyable tale of love, friendship, coffee and cake. When Doris fulfills her dream of opening a café, it quickly becomes overrun with junk offered as gifts. Younger sister Josie thinks up an idea of turning it into a swap shop. As hopes and dreams intersect over espresso and mouth-watering cakes, Doris’ Café becomes a place where people come to exchange their junk and life stories for an object of their desire.

Directed by Ya-chuan Hsiao | Starring : Gwei Lun-Mei, Zaizai Lin, Han Chang, Kôsuke Atari, Jiunn-jye Lee | Presented at Tokyo Film Festival, Cinemanila Film Festival

如梦 | Like a Dream

Like a Dream

A Chinese man living in New York suffers recurring dreams in which he meets an elusive, sorrowful woman. While on business in Shanghai he sees her in a photograph and goes in search of her – but instead finds her doppelgänger, a loud, exuberant factory worker. As they grow close, Max struggles to accept the compromised reality of his dream woman. In this cross-continental romance, Hong Kong–Australian director Clara Law returns to the themes of cultural displacement and identity that often permeate her films. Features an original score by Australian pianist and composer Paul Grabowsky.

Directed by Clara Law | Starring : Daniel Wu, Quan Yuan, A. Kyo Moon | Presented at Hong Kong Film Festival, Melbourne Film Festival

台北飘雪 | Snowfall in Taipei

Snowfall in Taipei2

A romantic story about love lost and found in the peaceful backstreets to the glamorous entertainment scenes of Taipei. Seamus is a young man living in an old Taipei neighborhood. One day, a pop singer May is announced missing in Taipei, and subsequently appears in Seamus’ town. With a voice problem and desperate to hide herself, she seeks help from Seamus, who offers her a place to stay, a job in a local diner, and takes her to a Chinese doctor for treatment. When Seamus finds himself in love with May, he finds her heart, however, belongs to somewhere else. He finally understands; one disappears in order to be found.

Directed by Jianqi Huo | Starring : Bo-lin Chen, Yao Tong, Tony Yang, Tzu-yi Mo, Janel Tsai | Presented at Tokyo Film Festival

泪王子 | Prince of Tears

Prince of Tears

Largely based on Yonfan’s childhood memories, Prince of Tears is akin to a sumptuous fairy tale. Alternately magnified through the eyes of innocent children and darkened by the disturbed dreams of frightened, guilty adults, the realities of a little-known era are explored through Yonfan’s powerful vision. As in the best of fables, here too we have a handsome prince and a beautiful princess, a charming fairy and a mean ogre. Elegantly shot, the film weaves the characters and their stories together in a mysterious and lyrical fashion. Yonfan’s pristine touch as production designer seamlessly matches the vibrant light and colour of Chin Ting-chang’s cinematography. As a result, the film’s stunning look provides a stark contrast to the terror within the environment. As both an exquisite rhapsody of emotions and an intriguing historical account, Yonfan’s work is utterly unique. It charms, evokes and informs, perfectly capturing the confusion of adolescence, when the world is full of beauty one moment and immersed in darkness the next.

Directed by Yonfan | Starring : Hsiao-chuan Chang, Terri Kwan, Wing Fan, Kenneth Tsang, Jack Kao | Presented at Venice Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Pusan Film Festival, Dubai Film Festival, Palm Springs Film Festival, Seattle Film Festival, Moscow Film Festival