千禧曼波 | Millennium Mambo

Millenium Mambo

From one of the world’s greatest living directors and critically acclaimed as his finest film, Millennium Mambo is as stylish, hypnotic and mesmerizing as Wong Kar- Wai’s hit film, In the Mood for Live, which it clearly resembles in its evocative portrayal of an intense relationship and in its stylish direction powered by a thumping electric soundtrack. Winner of the Grand Prix Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s Millennium Mambo is a strikingly beautiful film set in Taipei’s hot nightclub scene. The remarkable Shu Qi stars as Vicky, a lost soul who hangs out partying with her friends, smoking nonstop, and dancing and flirting. The youthful Vicky is torn between two men, Hao-Hao and Jack. She lives with Hao-Hao (Tuan Chun-hao), but he doesn’t seem to excite her anymore, so she starts seeing an older gangster, Jack (Jack Kao), although the depth of the relationship is left purposely ambiguous. Some degree of affinity between them begins to take shape: it may lead to a still closer relationship or a permanent friendship. Although Vicky wants to be a free spirit, she is battling demons that cast dark shadows over her somewhat meaningless existence. One of the world’s greatest filmmakers, Hou Hsiao-Hsien has made an innovative and daring film that is nothing short of mesmerising.

Directed by Hsiao-hsien Hou | Starring : Qi Shu, Jack Kao, Doze Niu, Chun-hao Tuan, Pauline Chan | Presented at Cannes Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Vancouver Film Festival, Ghent Film Festival, Chicago Film Festival, Flanders Film Festival, AFI Film Festival, Hawaii Film Festival, Pusan Film Festival, London Film Festival, Bangkok Film Festival

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天马茶房 | March of Happiness

March of Happiness

1945-1947, Taiwan. A teenage couple were deeply in love despite objections from the girl’s family. Their tragic story is played out in travelling troupes, tea-houses and western-style cafes, with the backdrop of Japanese occupation and the 28 February Incident.

Directed by Cheng-sheng Lin | Starring : Giong Lim, Shu-shen Hsiao, Leon Dai, Shufang Chen, Doze Niu | Presented at Cannes Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival

征婚启事 | The Personals

The Personals

This deceptively modest work from director Chen Kuo-fu proceeds from a typical romcom premise but detours into darker and more emotionally resonant territory. Tu Chia-chen, a successful but unfulfilled ophthalmologist, takes out a personal ad seeking potential marriage partners. The variously unsuitable respondents provide Tu with a growing voyeuristic thrill, but she eventually develops a genuine romantic interest in a sensitive ex-con. Consisting largely of two-person conversations in a repeated locations,  reflecting its origins as a stage play, The Personals still allows Chen Kuo-fu some spirited visual flourishes, anchored by Liu’s Golden Horse Award-winning performance.

Directed by Kuo-fu Chen | Starring : Rene Liu, Chao-jung Chen, Wu Bai, Shih-Chieh Chin, Bao-ming Gu | Presented at Cannes Film Festival, Montréal Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Chicago Film Festival

风柜来的人 | The Boys from Fengkuei

The Boys From Fengkuei

Ah-Ching and his friends have just finished school in their island fishing village, and now spend most of their time drinking and fighting. Three of them decide to go to the port city of Kaohsiung to look for work. They find an apartment through relatives, and Ah-Ching is attracted to the girlfriend of a neighbor. There they face the harsh realities of the big city.

Directed by Hsiao-hsien Hou | Starring : Doze Niu, Shih Chang, Hsiu-Ling Lin, Shufang Chen, Lai-Yin Yang | Presented at Nantes Film Festival, Buenos Aires Film Festival, Thessaloniki Film Festival