色,戒 | Lust, Caution

Lust Caution

Shanghai, 1942. The World War II Japanese occupation of this Chinese city continues in force. Mrs. Mak, a woman of sophistication and means, walks into a café, places a call, and then sits and waits. She remembers how her story began several years earlier, in 1938 China. She is not in fact Mrs. Mak, but shy Wong Chia Chi. With WWII underway, Wong has been left behind by her father, who has escaped to England. As a freshman at university, she meets fellow student Kuang Yu Min. Kuang has started a drama society to shore up patriotism. As the theater troupe’s new leading lady, Wong realizes that she has found her calling, able to move and inspire audiences and Kuang. He convenes a core group of students to carry out a radical and ambitious plan to assassinate a top Japanese collaborator, Mr. Yee. Each student has a part to play; Wong will be Mrs. Mak, who will gain Yees’ trust by befriending his wife and then draw the man into an affair. Wong transforms herself utterly inside and out, and the scenario proceeds as scripted until an unexpectedly fatal twist spurs her to flee. Shanghai, 1941. With no end in sight for the occupation, Wong having emigrated from Hong Kong goes through the motions of her existence. Much to her surprise, Kuang re-enters her life. Now part of the organized resistance, he enlists her to again become Mrs. Mak in a revival of the plot to kill Yee, who as head of the collaborationist secret service has become even more a key part of the puppet government. As Wong reprises her earlier role, and is drawn ever closer to her dangerous prey, she finds her very identity being pushed to the limit…

Directed by Ang Lee | Starring : Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Wei Tang, Joan Chen, Leehom Wang, Chung-Hua Tou | Presented at Venice Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Calgary Film Festival, Rio de Janeiro Film Festival, Vancouver Film Festival, Edmonton Film Festival, London Film Festival, Vienna Film Festival, Sao Paulo Film Festival, Valladolid Film Festival, Oslo Film Festival, Göteborg Film Festival

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最好的时光 | Three Times

Three Times

Three stories of women and men: in 1966, “A Time for Love,” a soldier searches for a young woman he met one afternoon playing pool; “A Time for Freedom,” set in a bordello in 1911, revolves around a singer’s longing to escape her surroundings; in 2005 in Taipei, “A Time for Youth” dramatizes a triangle in which a singer has an affair with a photographer while her partner suffers. In the first two stories, letters are crucial to the outcome; in the third, it’s cell-phone calls, text messages, and a computer file. Over the years between the tales, as sexual intimacy becomes more likely and words more free, communication recedes.

Directed by Hsiao-hsien Hou | Starring : Qi Shu, Chen Chang, Shi-Zheng Chen, Fang Mei, Lawrence Ko | Presented at Cannes Film Festival, Taipei Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, New York Film Festival, London Film Festival, Thessaloniki Film Festival, Rotterdam Film Festival, San Francisco Film Festival, Istanbul Film Festival, Indianapolis Film Festival, Yerevan Film Festival, Helsinki Film Festival

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

愈快乐愈堕落 | Hold You Tight

Hold You Tight

Adapted from Wang Anyi’s award-winning novel, the film follows the life of a legendary Shanghai beauty, Wang Qiyao, whose fading glamour is mirrored by the prosperous growth of the city of Shanghai. The film co-stars Tony Leung Ka Fai, Hu Jun, Daniel Wu, and Huang Jue as men who fall for Wang Qiyao. Yet those she loves just leave her one after another when she grows old, and eventually she herself has to face what fate has prepared for her. The metropolitan city is perhaps the only thing that can survive all the drastic changes and remain forever young… Everlasting Regret resembles Stanley Kwan’s Center Stage thematically for both detail the rise and fall of a Shanghainese woman, but Everlasting Regret ambitiously covers a longer period from 1940s to 1980s, almost half a century. The nostalgic mood of the film reminds of Kwan’s best-known piece Rouge. Art Director William Chang, famous for creating a nostalgic atmosphere in Wong Kar Wai’s In the Mood for Love and 2046, successfully reconstructs the lifestyle of old Shanghai.

Directed by Stanley Kwan | Starring : Chingmy Yau, Sunny Chan, Eric Tsang, Lawrence Ko, Sandra Ng Kwan Yue | Presented at Berlin Film Festival, Singapore Film Festival, Hong Kong Film Festival, Vancouver Film Festival, Chicago Film Festival, London Film Festival, Rotterdam Film Festival, Fribourg Film Festival, Thessaloniki Film Festival

麻将 | Mahjong

Mahjong

In this latter-day screwball farce, Yang puts a comic spin on his signature themes of globalization and urban ennui. The primary setting is a trendy night spot where Yang orchestrates the elaborate comings and goings of a raft of disparate characters, including a couple of mob enforcers, an American escort service madame, and a young Frenchwoman looking for the British entrepreneur who wooed her in London. Languages, classes and ideologies collide at a dizzying rate in this jaundiced love letter to Taipei at the close of the 20th century.

Directed by Edward Yang | Starring : Chen Chang, Virginie Ledoyen, Carrie Ng, Elaine Jin, Lawrence Ko | Presented at Berlin Film Festival, Singapore Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Vancouver Film Festival, New York 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