双瞳 | Double Vision

Double Vision

Taipei, the teeming capital of Taiwan, is a city in which the high-tech trappings of modern life compete with beliefs that reach back four millennia into Chinese history. It is a place where ghosts are considered as real as skyscrapers, and in which one troubled police officer comes up against an evil so dark that it threatens not only his life, but his very soul. Ace detective Huang Huo-tu is falling apart. As payback for blowing the whistle on corruption in the force, he’s relegated to the do-nothing job of Foreign Affairs Officer. His fellow policemen have turned on him, and his wife, Ching-fang, is filing for divorce. But, then, three grisly murders shake up the department. The victims are unrelated, but the Coroner finds a mysterious black fungus in their brains, along with evidence that they had all died in a hallucinatory state.

Directed by Kuo-fu Chen | Starring : Tony Leung Ka Fai, Rene Liu, Leon Dai, David Morse, Kuei-Mei Yang | Presented at Cannes Film Festival, Tokyo Film Festival

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一一 | Yi yi: A One and a Two

Yi Yi

With the runaway international acclaim of this film, Taiwanese director Edward Yang could no longer be called Asian cinema’s best-kept secret. Yi Yi swiftly follows a middle-class family in Taipei over the course of one year, beginning with a wedding and ending with a funeral. Whether chronicling middle-aged father NJ’s tenuous flirtations with an old flame or precocious young son Yang-Yang’s attempts at capturing reality with his beloved camera, Yang imbues every gorgeous frame with a deft, humane clarity. Warm, sprawling, and dazzling, this intimate epic is one of the undisputed masterworks of the new century.

Directed by Edward Yang | Starring : Nien-Jen Wu, Elaine Jin, Kelly Lee, Jonathan Chang, Issei Ogata | Presented at Cannes Film Festival, Munich Film Festival, Karlovy Vary Film Festival, Sarajevo Film Festival, Telluride Film FestivalToronto Film Festival, Vancouver Film Festival, New York Film Festival, Chicago Film Festival, Bergen Film Festival, Valladolid Film Festival, Tokyo Film Festival, London Film Festival, Oslo Film Festival, Rotterdam Film Festival, Fribourg Film Festival, Singapore Film Festival, Hong Kong Film Festival, Locarno Film Festival, Cinemanila Film Festival

今天不回家 | Tonight Nobody Goes Home

Tonight Nobody Goes Home

A funny, light weight comedy from Sylvia Chang. We all know that yawning is contagious, but to the Chen family contagiousness extends to taking on an extra-marital affair. Gua Ah-leh is at the movie’s centre: she shines as Lung’s wife, who finds she has a thing or two to learn from the gigolo after Lung blithely. Lang Hisung plays old dentist for broad comedy (showing a different side from his starring roles in Ang Lee’s films); he is sixty years old but still physically fit and full of charisma. He wants to be able to experience the vitality of a burning passion for one last once. leaves her. The extra-familial affair is discovered.

Directed by Sylvia Chang | Starring : Sihung Lung, Ya-lei Kuei, Winston Chao, Rene Liu, Jordan Chan | Presented at Toronto Film Festival, Singapore Film Festival

独立时代 | A Confucian Confusion

A Confucian_Confusion

Taipei in the 90’s, a city made up of intense human relationships, full of changes and opportunities. There are at least 500 kinds of “trendy” happenings in the streets and attaching to any one of these trends will allow one to find the value of “living”. In a matter of two and half days, a group of young people try to chase after their own dreams and desires, interact in unusual coincidences, create love and hate in ridiculous situations, cause lucly and unfortunate events. Some went to heaven, some went to hell and some happily and surprisingly discovered that they had become decent and independent people.

Directed by Edward Yang | Starring : Shiang-Chyi Chen, Shu-Chun Ni, Weiming Wang, Danny Deng, Bosen Wang | Presented at Cannes Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Vancouver Film Festival, New York Film Festival, London Film Festival, Rotterdam Film Festival

牯岭街少年杀人事件 | A Brighter Summer Day

Brighter

Slow, elliptical, and for the most part understated, Yang’s masterly account of growing up in Taiwan at the start of the ’60s is as visually elegant as his own Taipei Story and The Terroriser, and as epic in scope as Hou Hsiao Hsien’s City of Sadness. On the surface, it’s about one boy’s involvement in gang rivalry and violence and his experience of young love. On a deeper level, however, it’s about a society in transition and in search of an identity, forever aware of its isolation from mainland China, and increasingly prey to Americanisation. The measured pace may be off-putting, but stay with it – the accumulated wealth of detail invests the unexpected final scenes with enormous, shocking power.

Directed by Edward Yang | Starring : Chen Chang, Elaine Jin, Kuo-Chu Chang, Lawrence Ko, Lisa Yang | Presented at Toronto Film Festival, Berlin Film Festival, Melbourne Film Festival, Cannes Film Festival, Rotterdam Film Festival, London Film Festival

恋恋风尘 | Dust in the Wind

Dust in the Wind

Master filmmaker Hou Hsiao Hsien directs this wistful story about lost love and lost innocence among Taiwan’s working class. Wan (Wang Chien-wen) and Huen (Hsin Shu-feng) are high school sweethearts living in a down-and-out mining community of Jio-fen in Taiwan’s backwaters. Too poor to continue their education, the two drop out of school and move to Taipei to find employment. When Wan’s father learns of his son’s decision, he simply says, “When you are willing to make yourself an ox, there will always be someone with a plow.” Huen finds work as a seamstress. Wan becomes a printer’s assistant and then a motorcycle delivery boy. The time passes as they work all day, pursue their studies at night school, and spend their scant free time drinking with their friends ? all working similarly menial jobs. One friend is beaten with an iron bar by his abusive boss; another has his finger chopped off in a machine. One by one, these friends are called up for their obligatory two years of military service. One day, while taking Huen shoe shopping, Wan has his bike stolen. Furious and out of a job, Wan wanders around the streets of Taipei until he contracts bronchitis. Huen lovingly nurses him back to health. Then he gets called up for military service.

Directed by Hsiao-hsien Hou | Starring : Shufang Chen, Lawrence Ko, Tianli Lu, Fang Mei, Lai-Yin Yang | Presented at Berlin Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Tokyo Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival, Buenos Aires Film Festival, Thessaloniki Film Festival