脸 | Face

Face

A Taiwanese filmmaker makes a film based on the myth of Salomé at the Louvre. Even though he speaks neither French nor English, he insists on giving the part of King Herod to the French actor Jean-Pierre Léaud. To give the film a chance at the box-office, the production company gives the role of Salomé to a world famous model. But problems arise as soon as filming begins… Amidst all this confusion, the director suddenly learns of his mother’s death. The producer flies to Taipei, to attend the funeral. The director falls into a deep sleep where his mother’s spirit does not seem to want to leave her old apartment. The producer has no choice but to wait, alone and lost in a strange city. As after a very long voyage, filming will resume with all who were lost in the underground of the Louvre.

Directed by Ming-liang Tsai | Starring : Kang-sheng Lee, Fanny Ardant, Yi-Ching Lu, Jean-Pierre Léaud, Laetitia Casta | Presented at Cannes Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Vancouver Film Festival, Pusan Film Festival, Chicago Film Festival, Rotterdam Film Festival, Göteborg Film Festival, Buenos Aires Film Festival, Transilvania Film Festival

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漂浪青春 | Drifting Flowers

Drifting Flowers

The eponymous drifting flowers in Zero Chou’s film are three Taiwanese women living in different parts of the island state: a child, a young girl and an old woman. All of them are seeking their true identity in the river of life and their stories are artistically interwoven in a poetic narrative. As time ebbs and flows, as love comes and goes, their journey towards finding themselves never ends.First, eight-year-old Meigo discovers the bitter taste of first love when she accidentally sees her blind sister Jing kissing Chalkie, the tomboyish accordion player in their band. The little girl’s jealousy is so strong that the three are torn apart. In another time and another place, Lily struggles with her Alzheimer’s and her fragile memory of her youth. When her old friend Yen pays her a visit he brings an additional tragedy – afflicted with Aids, he has lost the will to live. And yet, between Lily’s hallucinations and Yen’s malaise, the two form an unexpected bond and rediscover the meaning of love and life. Finally, there is Chalkie, years before she left her hometown and joined the band. Back then, when she was still at school, the confused teenager bound up her growing breasts, despite her traditional family calling her a “boy-girl”. But then, an impromptu performance changes her life.

Directed by Zero Chou | Starring : Yi-Ching Lu, Serena Fang, Chao Yi-lan, Lai-Man Chui, Chih-Ying Pai | Presented at Berlin Film Festival, Hong Kong Film Festival

深海 | Blue Cha Cha

Blue Cha Cha

Just coming out of the jail, depressed and close-hearted, Ah Yu met two men with different characters from each other. One is a businessman, charming and mature; the other is a young supervisor in a factory with a promising future. But these two loves are short-lived, fading away like bubbles on the beach. With a wounded soul, she went back to the cottage owned by Sister An, a friend from jail. An treats her like a sister, embracing her tortured soul. When they are unhappy, they dance on the pier. Their dancing steps swing like small boats in the harbor, driving away all the depression. Someday, a puppet show was performed on the pier. They saw a fisherman, Lao-Yao, playing a puppet. Through Lao-Yao who suffers from autism, Ah Yu found herself tangled in a feeling as deep as the ocean.

Directed by Wen-Tang Cheng | Starring : Tarcy Su, Yi-Ching Lu, Leon Dai, Wei Lee, Pong-Fong Wu | Presented at Blue Ribbon Film Festival

天边一朵云 | The Wayward Cloud

The Wayward Cloud

The most audacious film to date from visionary director Tsai Ming-liang, The Wayward Cloud is about a porn actor and the museum tour guide who enters into a strange relationship with him, unaware of his profession. Hsiao-kang is the same alienated youth whose chance encounter with Shiang-chyi provided the spark that fueled Tsai’s earlier films. Once again, these two lost souls cross paths—he now works as an actor in no-budget porn films, and she wanders around Taipei, hoarding bottles of water because of a serious drought. In fact, the government is recommending that people eat watermelons to hydrate themselves. This fruit sets in motion a perverse (and often hilarious) symbolic theme throughout much of the film. As in his earlier film The Hole, Tsai adds trashy, campy musical numbers into the narrative. These sequences play against the raw sex scenes, creating a bizarre, existential chaos. The filmmaker has created a perfectly realized alternative universe in his ongoing exploration of sex, bodies, and loneliness. His stationary camera perfectly illustrates the isolation and exploitation the characters are trapped in—yet the film is as funny as it is emotionally tortured. Tsai’s characters are indeed wayward clouds, drifting through life without purpose, in a world without water. And prepare yourself for the film’s unbelievable final scene, which manages to be both weirdly erotic and profoundly disturbing.

Directed by Ming-liang Tsai | Starring : Kang-sheng Lee, Shiang-chyi Chen, Yi-Ching Lu, Kuei-Mei Yang, Sumomo Yozakura | Presented at Berlin Film Festival, Brisbane Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Rio de Janeiro Film Festival, Chicago Film Festival, Sitges Film Festival, Stockholm Film Festival, Torino Film Festival, Nantes Film Festival, Alba Regia Film Festival, Helsinki Film Festival

不见 | The Missing

The Missing

Two stories are intercut: In one, an old woman searches frantically for her missing grandson; in the other, a teenage boy’s grandfather disappears. Lee Kang-sheng’s The Missing is a sad and haunting film which builds very slowly to an obscure symbolic ending, making you want to watch it again right away in order to view it in a different light. While not quite living up to the standard of the best work of Lee’s esteemed mentor Tsai Ming-liang, The Missing is an admirable debut. The city of Taipei becomes an alienating dystopia in this minimalist directorial debut from Taiwanese actor Lee Kang-sheng. A grandmother loses her grandson in a park and spends the remainder of the day searching for him. Meanwhile, a troubled teenager’s grandfather similarly disappears. The two searchers wander the city until, eventually, their paths cross. The Missing shared the New Currents award with the Iranian film Tiny Snowflakes at the 2003 Pusan International Film Festival.

Directed by Kang-sheng Lee | Starring : Yi-Ching Lu, Tien Miao, Chang Chea, Chun Shih, Shiang-chyi Chen | Presented at Pusan Film Festival, Tokyo Film Festival, Rotterdam Film Festival, Hong Kong Film Festival, Karlovy Vary Film Festival, Athens Film Festival, Vancouver Film Festival, Flanders Film Festival, Chicago Film Festival, Vienna Film Festival, Ljubljana Film Festival, Nantes Film Festival, Bratislava Film Festival, Febio Film Festival

你那边几点 | What Time Is It Over There?

What Time is it There

From acclaimed director Tsai Ming-Liang comes the quirky story of Hsiao Kang who sell watches in the street of Taipei for a living. A few Days after his father’s Death, he meet Shiang-Chyi, a young woman who leave for Paris the very next day. She persuades him to sell her his own watch, which has two dials, so that she can keep taipei time as well as local time, on her upcoming trip.Troubled y the behavior of this mother who prays constantly for the return of her late husband’s spirit, Hsiao Kang Take refuge in the memory of his brief encounter with Shiang-Chyi, In an effort to bridge the miles between them, he run around setting all the watches and clock in Taipei to Paris time. Meanwhile, in Paris, Shiang-Chyi confronts events that seem to be mysteriously connected with Hsiao Kang.

Directed by Ming-liang Tsai | Starring : Kang-sheng Lee, Shiang-chyi Chen, Yi-Ching Lu, Tien Miao, Cecilia Yip | Presented at Cannes Film Festival, Karlovy Vary Film Festival, Jerusalem Film Festival, Brisbane Film Festival, Edinburgh Film Festival, Montreal Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, New York Film Festival, Vancouver Film Festival, Chicago Film Festival, Jakarta Film Festival, Tokyo Film Festival, AFI Film Festival, Pusan Film Festival, Thessaloniki Film Festival, Bangkok Film Festival, Hong Kong Film Festival, Buenos Aires Film Festival, Singapore Film Festival, Cinemanila Film Festival, Febio Film Festival

河流 | The River

The River

Hsiao-kang shares an apartment in Taipei with his parents, but the three of them lead very separate lives. His mother works as an elevator attendant in a restaurant and is having an affair with a man who pirates porno vidotapes. Hsiao-kang is drifting through life without a job, while his father, a pensioner, pursues a solitary quest for illicit pleasures in the city’s gay saunas. As an extra in a film, Hsiao-kang plays a body adrift in the heavily polluted Tamsui River. He begins to suffer a terrible pain in his neck, but no one seems to able to cure him. In desperation, Hsiao-kang travels with his father to Taichung, to visit a faith healer. While waiting to see him, the father gets bored and decides to visit a local men’s sauna. Coincidentally, Hsiao-kang has the same idea… Life is like a river: there will always be some dark, deep, damp corners.

Directed by Ming-liang Tsai | Starring : Kang-sheng Lee, Chao-jung Chen, Shiang-chyi Chen, Yi-Ching Lu, Tien Miao | Presented at Berlin Film Festival, Singapore Film Festival, San Francisco Film Festival, Edinburgh Film Festival, Sao Paulo Film Festival, Chicago Film Festival, Thessaloniki Film Festival