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

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青梅竹马 | Taipei Story

Taipei Story2

Lung, a former member of the national Little League team and now operator of an old-style fabric business, is never able to shake a longing for his past glory. One day, he runs into a forme teammate who is now a struggling cab driver. The two talk about old times and they are struck by a sense of loss. Lung is living with his old childhood sweetheart Ah-chin, a westernized professional woman who grew up in a traditional family. Although they live together, Ah-chin is always weary of Lung’s past liason with another girl. After an argument, Ah-chin tris to find solace by hanging out with her sister’s friends, a group of westernized, hedonistic youths.

Directed by Edward Yang | Starring : Chin Tsai, Hsiao-hsien Hou, I-Chen Ko, Nien-Jen Wu, Hsiu-Ling Lin | Presented at Febio Film Festival, Thessaloniki Film Festival

冬冬的假期 | A Summer at Grandpa’s

A Summer at Grandpa's

In Hou Hsiao-hsien’s early film, an eleven year-old Taipei boy, Tung-Tung and his 4-year old sister Ting-Ting are sent to the country to spend the summer with their grandparents after their mother falls ill. The children’s summer is delightfully carefree, but the adult world slowly encroaches on their play. Their uncle impregnates a girl but falls in love with a different girl, and two of his pals are wanted for robbing and beating a pair of motorists. A developmentally disabled neighbor causes more controversy, but also rescues Ting-Ting from an oncoming train (she’s stuck there due to a thoughtless prank played on her by her brother and his friends). And Tung-Tung worries over his mother, hoping for news of her recovery.

Directed by Hsiao-hsien Hou | Starring : Wong Kai-Gwong, Shuzhen Li, Ching-kuo Yan, Bor Jeng Chen, Hsiu-Ling Lin | Presented at Locarno Film Festival, Nantes Film Festival, Buenos Aires Film Festival, Thessaloniki 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