Taiwan

Hsin-yao Huang – The Great Buddha + (2017)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Quote:
Pickle is a night security guard at a bronze statue factory. His colleague, Belly Bottom, works as a recycling collector during the day, and Pickle’s biggest pleasure in life is flicking through the porn magazines Belly Bottom collects in the small hours in the security room. Having late night snacks and watching television are an integral part of their dull lives. One day when the television is broken, their lives are changed forever. The story involves gods, the middle-aged men’s sexual desire and the conversation between ghosts and humans. Maybe the audience will find it preposterous, but isn’t life itself a farce? Read More »

Hsiao-Hsien Hou – Nie yin niang AKA The Assassin (2015)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

An assassin accepts a dangerous mission to kill a political leader in seventh-century China.

J. Hoberman wrote:
“The Assassin” is extraordinarily beautiful. The film’s editing and narrative construction are, however, no less remarkable. For all its exquisitely furnished interiors and fantastic landscapes, “The Assassin” is far too eccentric to ever seem picturesque. Nor does it unfold like a typical wuxia. Mayhem is abrupt, brief and fragmentary — predicated on suave jump-cuts and largely devoid of special effects. Read More »

Hsiao-hsien Hou – Flowers of Shanghai AKA Hai shang hua (1998)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

SYNOPSIS
Shanghai, the 1880s, four elegant brothels (flower houses): each has an auntie (the madam), a courtesan in her prime, older servants, and maturing girls in training. The men gather around tables of food, playing drinking games. An opium pipe is at hand. The women live within dark-paneled walls. The atmosphere is stifling, as if Chekov was in China. The melancholy Wang is Crimson’s patron; will he leave her for the younger Jasmin? Emerald schemes to buy her freedom, aided by Luo, a patron. Pearl, an aging flower, schools the willful Jade, who thinks she has a marriage agreement with young master Zhu. Is she dreaming? Women fade, or connive, or despair. Read More »

Ming-liang Tsai – Dong AKA The Hole (1998)

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Quote:
A strange disease starts to affect people in Taiwan just before the year 2000. The authorities order everyone to evacuate, but some tenants of an apartment building stay put, including a shop owner who lives by himself. One day, a plumber goes to the shop owner’s apartment to check the pipes. The plumber drills a small hole in the floor, which comes down through the ceiling of another apartment. The hole never gets repaired, and this leads to some tension between the shop owner and the woman who lives below him. Read More »

Hsiao-Hsien Hou – Beiqíng chéngshì AKA A City of Sadness (1989)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Quote:
A City Of Sadness opens with a credit sequence-shot of total darkness as the solemn voice of Emperor Hirohito is heard over a radio broadcast announcing the unconditional surrender of Japan on August 15, 1945. The setting is then faintly illuminated by the warm glow of candles to reveal an anxious Taiwanese household that is preparing for the imminent birth of a child in the midst of a power failure. As the electricity is restored, the audible agony of the expectant mother gives way to the sound of a crying infant. The apparent metaphor is then reinforced in the subsequent intertitles that reveal that the concubine of Lin Wen-heung (Chen Sown-yung) had given birth to a son whom they name Kang-ming, meaning ‘light.’ However, as the film chronicles the lives of the Lin family during the turbulent four years between the Japanese withdrawal from Taiwan after 51 years of occupation in 1945, to the secession of Taiwan from mainland China in 1949, the hopeful and optimistic tone of the film’s introductory sequence seemingly proves untenable. Read More »

Edward Yang – Qing mei zhu ma AKA Taipei Story (1985)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Quote:
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. Read More »

Hsiao-Hsien Hou – Ni luo he nu er AKA Daughter of the Nile (1987)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Synopsis:
The eldest daughter of a broken and troubled family works to keep the family together and look after her younger siblings, who are slipping into a life of crime. Read More »