停车 | Parking

Parking

On Mother’s Day in Taipei, Chen Mo makes a date for dinner with his wife, hoping to bring their estranged relationship back together. While buying a cake on his way home, a car unexpectedly double parks next to his car, preventing his exit. For the entire night, Chen Mo searches the floors of a nearby apartment building for the owner of the illegally parked car, and encounters a succession of strange events and eccentric characters: an old couple living with their precocious granddaughter who have lost their only son, a one-armed barbershop owner cooking fish head soup, a mainland Chinese prostitute trying to escape her pimp’s cruel clutches, and a Hong Kong tailor embroiled in debt and captured by underground loan sharks. After many hardships, Chen Mo finally gets his car out of the parking space, and, with new friends riding beside him, advances toward a new horizon in life.

Directed by Mong-Hong Chung | Starring : Chen Chang, Gwei Lun-Mei, Leon Dai, Chapman To, Jack Kao | Presented at Cannes Film Festival, Ghent Film Festival, Thessaloniki Film Festival, Stockholm Film Festival, Oslo Film Festival, Taipei Film Festival, Wisconsin Film Festival

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戏梦人生 | The Puppetmaster

The Puppetmaster

Li Tien Lu is the world’s most famous puppet master. Born in Taïwan on the wake of World War I, he lived through the Japanese occupation, and American bombings of his country. Now eighty-four, reflects on the forces that shaped his life: “My hands breathed life into my puppet figures. I created them and directed the drama of their fates, almost as though I were God himself. But the reality is that, with someone above me pulling the strings, I, too, am a mere puppet…”

Directed by Hsiao-hsien Hou | Starring : Tianlu Li, Giong Lim, Hung Liou, Chen-Nan Tsai, Lai-Yin Yang | Presented at Cannes Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, New York Film Festival, Rotterdam Film Festival, Fribourg Film Festival, Istanbul Film Festival, Buenos Aires Film Festival, Thessaloniki 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

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

童年往事 | A Time to Live, a Time to Die

A Time to Live and a Time to Die

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 this is also the story of an entire generation, the generation of Mainland Chinese who settled in Taiwan in the late 1940s and then found themselves unable to return home after the Communist victory of 1949. A story then, of displaced persons and displaced emotions, in which traditional family bonds suffer the pressures of exile and social change and begin to crack under the strain. It’s a story never before told on film, and certainly never visualised in images of such measured warmth and beauty.

Directed by Hsiao-hsien Hou | Starring : Feng Tien, Fang Mei, Ru-Yun Tang, Ai Hsiao, Ann-Shuin Yiu | Presented at Berlin Film Festival, New York Film Festival, Torino Film Festival, Hawaii Film Festival, Rotterdam Film Festival, Buenos Aires 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