After a successful inaugural event last year, the second annual Taiwan Film Festival of Boston will shift virtually this year. With the support of Taipei Cultural Center in New York, the festival is going to present a monthly online series with a variety of heartwarming films from August to December. The festival curator Andrew Lin said that the main theme for this year’s film selection is Lost & Found, aiming to promote social reconciliation, rebuild love and trust in relationships while people experience strong sense of loss, grief and deprivation amidst this challenging time.
The film festival will kick off on August 7th, featuring two films – FOOLISH BRIDE, NAÏVE BRIDEGROOM (1967) by taiyupian auteur Hsin Chi and LIKE FATHER, LIKE DAUGHTER (2019) by emerging director Chris Leong Siew-Hong. Both films, one feature and one short, will be streamed from August 7th 12pm to August 9th 12pm(EST) in celebration of Father’s Day in Taiwan. Director Leong will join the post-screening panel, moderated by Tim Teng Shao-Hung, to share her behind the scenes experience and her perspectives of family, gender, patriarchy, and love with the audience. The panel is set for August 8th at 8pm(EST).
FOOLISH BRIDE, NAÏVE BRIDEGROOM (1967) is a cheeky romantic comedy, portraying a lovely young couple in pursuit of the freedom to love, which, however, meets strong opposition from their parents. Like his previous works, director Hsin Chi took a real pleasure in deconstructing all the traditional patterns and embracing the young people’s perspective. The young generation in his film tends to refuse to sacrifice their love to please their elders and even reject the patriarchal orders bluntly. Given that the Taiwanese government, in 1960s, was trying to promote Confucian values and to reinforce the morals of paternalism and patriarchy, this liberating film was quite a blow.
Hsin Chi was a prolific Taiwanese filmmaker. Throughout his career, he navigated his films between state censorship and the market, producing at least 52 films across different genres from 1957 to 1979. However, only 8 films' copies remain in the world, including FOOLISH BRIDE, NAÏVE BRIDEGROOM. The film was digitally remastered by the Taiwan Film and Audiovisual Institute (formerly known as Taiwan Film Institute) in 2019. The original negatives had suffered from vinegar syndrome so badly that making a new print is really time-consuming. Fortunately, today the film can be screened for the public at film festivals sand screening venues around the world once again.
LIKE FATHER, LIKE DAUGHTER is a sequel to FOOLISH BRIDE, NAÏVE BRIDEGROOM. The young man, who pursued the freedom to love in 1967, becomes an old widower with one daughter now. At a time Taiwan legalizes same-sex marriage in 2019, he discovers his daughter has a girlfriend. The film, smartly using the footage from its predecessor, illustrates Taiwan’s shift from a conservative to an open and inclusive society with the freedom to love and to marry. Leong once said, “In the past, people fought for the freedom to love, and now, people have also fought for the right to same-sex marriage. I used this as a starting point for a new story and let it continue to develop."
Taipei Cultural Center in New York added that LIKE FATHER, LIKE DAUGHTER is part of the anthology of four short films paying tribute to 1960s Taiwanese cinema. Each film is inspired by a recently restored classic and is directed by a graduate of the 10th Golden Horse Film Academy. The project is a collaboration between the Golden Horse Film Academy, the Taiwan Film and Audiovisual Institute as well as Taiwan Public Television Service, with renowned editor/producer Liao Ching-sung serving as executive producer.
For more information, please visit Taiwan Film Festival of Boston’s website: https://www.taiwanfilmfest.org/.
FOOLISH BRIDE, NAÏVE BRIDEGROOM(三八新娘憨子婿)
Taiwan/1967/Black and White/102 minutes/in Taiwanese with Chinese & English Subtitles
Director: Hsin Chi/Xin Qi (辛奇)
Cast: Jin Mei/Chin Mei (金玫)、Shi Jun (石軍)、Jin Tu (金塗)、Yang Yue-fan (楊月帆)
Wen-de is a shy young man. Aggressively courted by all the girls in the neighborhood, he only has eyes for the pretty and mischievous Gui-kia. She finds every means possible to meet up with her boyfriend, although he is closely watched over by a very protective father, A-Gao. When the parents finally agree on the wedding, they realize that they used to be in love. Accusing each other of betrayal, they refuse to allow their children to marry. Wen-de and Gui-kia decide to elope. After a few months the young couple is in a dire situation and fighting all the time. They are eventually found by their parents and everyone gets happily married.
LIKE FATHER, LIKE DAUGHTER (前世情人的情人)
Taiwan/2019/Black and White/19 minutes/in Taiwanese & Mandarin with Chinese & English Subtitles
Executive Producers: Liao Ching-sung (廖慶松), Yu Pei-hua (於蓓華), Wang Chun-chi (王君琦)
Written & Directed by/Screenplay: Chris Leong Siew-Hong(梁秀紅)
Starring: Wu Peng-fong (吳朋奉), Cammie Chiang (江沂宸), Lin Ying-wei (林映唯), Lee Ying-chieh (李盈潔)
Wen-de, the hero of the film Foolish Bride, Naive Bridegroom, is now a widower. But he is still being harassed by his female neighbors who are trying to marry their son to his daughter Jo-tung. She lives with her girlfriend but does not dare to tell her father. He finally discovers the truth about them. But he has a little secret himself.