Taiwan

Chung-Hsing Chao – You huan dao shi AKA Hello Dracula (1985)

A traveling performance squad with 4 orphan boys, Xigua Pi, Xiao Hu, Bao Ya, Xiao Hei and their master Sha get into trouble during their journey with jiangshi. Later on the boys manage to cause more jiangshi trouble and set the course for something they might not have wished for. The squad is unaware of the strict child abuse laws in the city they arrive in and during their martial arts performance their master gets into trouble with the law. Luckily the town is the home of a Taoist Priest Grandpa Jin and his granddaughter Tian Tian who run the local funeral parlor and are there to help out the boys and to fight the jiangshi. But Tian Tian and the boys manage to cause even more trouble… Read More »

Ming-liang Tsai – Wandering (2021)

This short by Tsai Ming-liang, completed in 2021, was filmed at “the Dune” in Yilan, Taiwan, where the eight films in his Walker series were being shown.

A wordless performance/installation short film from Tsai. Read More »

Toon Wang – Wu yan de shan qiu AKA Hill of No Return (1992)

In the 1920’s, when Taiwan is Japan’s colony, the small town Chiu-Fen was famous of its gold mines. Escaping from the landlord’s control, Chu and Wei join the gold rush in Chiu-Fen, hoping that they can be rich and have their own land some day. The are two kinds of women in the small town : hard working housewives and prostitute. The formers are always struggling in poverty. Jou is one of them. People believe that she is doomed to be a widow. She married twice. Both of her husbands are dead. Che falls in love with her anyway. He becomes her third husband in despite of people’s warning. Many of the masters of brothels make a future from prostitution business as well as the black market of gold. Wei loves Fumiko, a young prostitute. He decides to buy back her freedom. Read More »

Edward Yang – Hai tan de yi tian AKA That Day on the Beach (1983)

Synopsis:
Two friends who haven’t seen each other for thirteen years reunite. One is a successful concert pianist just back from a European tour and the other has just started a new business. Read More »

I-Chen Ko – Dai jian de xiao hai AKA Kidnapped (1983)

After her six year old son is kidnapped, a successful fashion designer must work with a detective to clear up the terrifying mystery and get her son back. Read More »

Cheng-sheng Lin – Ai ni ai wo AKA Betelnut Beauty (2001)

Betelnut Beauty is the english for 槟榔西施 (bīnláng xīshī). It refers to women selling betel nuts and cigarettes along the roads in Taiwan.
The betelnut beauty is usually half naked, waiting for customers in a small glass-fronted kiosk. It’s a very common sight in Taiwan.
Betel nuts (binlang in chinese) is popular among a certain population (truck drivers, taxi drivers, construction workers…). You chew it, spit the red juice and it makes you somehow stoned.

This film is, in my opinion, a very average drama, not the best film from director Cheng-sheng Lin. But its background shows a realistic image of Taipei’s street life. Read More »

Cheng-sheng Lin – Fang lang AKA Sweet Degeneration (1997)

Quote:
Chuen-Sheng is a young man fresh out of military service with dreams of making it as a musician. His sister Ah Fen, unhappily married, nurses a secret incestuous passion for him. While Chuen-Sheng steals money from his father and squanders it on roach-infested hotel rooms and cheap hookers, Ah Fen decides she can’t face her life any more and runs away. Read More »