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

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美丽在唱歌 | Murmur of Youth

Murmur of Youth

Two girls both named “Mei Li” who live their own drifting aimleasly life. One day, the creato let them come across and know closely in the ticket booth which marked “No Admittance” Finally, they find the love and enjoy their life experiences each other.

Directed by Cheng-sheng Lin | Starring : Rene Liu, Jing Tseng, Chin-Hsin Tsai, Vicky Wei, Chao-jung Chen | Presented at Toronto Film Festival, Tokyo Film Festival, Singapore Film Festival

春花梦露 | A Drifting Life

A Drifting Life

After his wife dies during childbirth, Ku-cheng leaves his children behind in their rural village while he finds work on a construction site in the city. He develops a relationship with a widow but despite their intimacy, he refuses to remarry. Lin’s moving, mutli-generational debut feature is anchored by a strong performance from Tsai Ming-liang alter ego Lee Kang-sheng.

Directed by Cheng-sheng Lin | Starring : Kang-sheng Lee, Jing Tseng, Vicky Wei, Shufang Chen, Yu-Wen Wang | Presented at Cannes Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Vancouver Film Festival, Tokyo Film Festival, Fribourg Film Festival, Singapore Film Festival

好男好女 | Good Men, Good Women

Good Men Good Women

Unknown man bothers actress with a diary stolen from her. Ambitious film about film and life by one of today’s greatest film-makers. The story is set in present-day Taipei. Liang Ching, a young actress, is bothered by an unknown man who calls her up regularly, but doesn’t say anything. He has also stolen her diary and keeps sending her pages from it by fax. Liang Ching is busy rehearsing a role in a film about two anti-Japanese guerrillas in China in the forties. Her approach to the scenes seems increasingly influenced by her personal background, especially by the faxed diary notes. She remembers the time when she worked as a bar-girl, was addicted to drink and drugs and had a short and intense relationship with the gangster Ah Wei. As Liang Ching works through the script of the film, the identification with her film role becomes stronger, but her life is still dominated by underworld figures. Her brother-in-law – whose wife, her sister, suggests Liang Ching is having an affair with him – is involved with the construction of a factory to treat chemical waste in the Taiwanese countryside. Slowly but surely, the boundaries between the film-in-the-film, the underworld and Liang Ching’s memories of Ah Wei disappear.

Directed by Hsiao-hsien Hou | Starring : Annie Shizuka Inoh, Vicky Wei, Jack Kao, Giong Lim, Chen-Nan Tsai | Presented at Cannes Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, New York Film Festival, Chicago Film Festival, Hawaii Film Festival, Stockholm Film Festival, Rotterdam Film Festival, Singapore Film Festival, Changchun Film Festival, Buenos Aires Film Festival, Thessaloniki Film Festival

多桑 | A Borrowed Life

A Borrowed Life

Sega, a Taiwanese born in the years of Japanese rule, felt closer to Japanese nationality and culture than to the Mainland Chinese authorities who took over in 1945. The Japanese contributed to the development of the island and its social infrastructure, leaving behind efficient and popular education and health-care systems. Conversely, Wen-Jian is typical of the sons born to Sega’s generation. Born and raised under Chinese government, their natural allegiance is to Chinese culture. They are inevitably mystified by and impatient with their parents’ fondness for Japanese culture and rule, their bafflement intensified by all they are taught about Japanese imperialist ambitions and wartime atrocities. Tjos os a generational conundrum with no solution, doubtless unique to Taiwan.

Directed by Nien-Jen Wu | Starring : Chen-Nan Tsai, Shufang Chen, Fang Mei, Jun Fu, Ing-How Tan | Presented at Vancouver Film Festival, Thessaloniki Film Festival, Torino Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival

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

悲情城市 | A City of Sadness

City of Sadness

Hou’s epic film focuses on the complex history of 20th-century Taiwan during the turbulent period in Taiwanese history between the fall of the Japanese Empire in 1945 and the establishment of martial law in 1949. Hou fashioned a national saga out of the events leading to the now infamous “February 28 Incident,” a massacre of thousands of Taiwanese civilians by Nationalist soldiers in 1947. Revolving around the fates of four brothers whose lives embody the major forces at work on the island, A City of Sadness unfolds a complex and engaging narrative contrasting the oldest brother, a bar owner eager to profit from the postwar economic boom and the youngest, a deaf-mute photographer with ties to the leftist resistance to the Kuomintang. Despite its broad canvas, the film remains intimately focused on daily life, with the major historical events taking place primarily offscreen. A City of Sadness remains one of Hou’s most formally inventive films, utilizing text onscreen, voiceover and a variety of languages. Made in the wake of the lifting of martial law on the island, A City of Sadness is both an important act of remembrance and a landmark of world cinema.

Directed by Hsiao-hsien Hou | Starring : Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Jack Kao, Tianlu Li, Sung Young Chen, Shufen Xin | Presented at Venice Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Vancouver Film Festival, New York Film Festival, AFI Film Festival, Berlin Film Festival, San Francisco Film Festival, Hong Kong Film Festival, Buenos Aires Film Festival, Febio Film Festival, Thessaloniki Film Festival