Taipei Cultural Center in New York is proud to announce a new collaboration with the Museum of the Moving Image (MoMI) to present an online retrospective of Midi Z, coinciding with the theatrical debut of the director’s new feature, NINA WU (2019), a Cannes Un Certain Regard selection. In addition to NINA WU, the retrospective will also boast five of Midi Z’s most acclaimed films from the past decade, including 14 APPLES (2018), THE ROAD TO MANDALAY (2016), CITY OF JADE (2016), ICE POISON (2014) and RETURN TO BURMA (2011). All of these films will be available nationwide from March 26 through April 11 on MoMI’s virtual cinema.
NINA WU is a psychological thriller directed by Midi Z and written by Wu Ke-xi, who also stars in the leading role. Noted Hollywood director Quentin Tarantino praised it as "Thrilling, you have to see it twice!" after attending the film’s world premiere at Cannes. NINA WU is described as a sumptuous, stylized thriller, reminiscent of Mulholland Drive, Black Swan and other poison pen letters to the entertainment industry. When the film was released in Taiwan, it stirred conversations about the #MeToo movement throughout the island.
Born in Myanmar in 1982, Midi Z moved to Taiwan at the age of sixteen. He studied art and design before obtaining a master’s degree from the National Taiwan University of Technology and Science. In 2006, his graduation film, PALOMA BLANCA, was invited to several film festivals, including those in Busan and Gothenburg. In 2011, RETURN TO BURMA, his debut feature, was nominated for the Busan New Currents Competition and Rotterdam Tiger Competition. In 2014, ICE POISON won Best International Film at the Edinburgh Film Festival and represented Taiwan at the Oscars for Best Foreign Language Film.
As MoMI’s website states, “Midi Z’s films slide effortlessly yet purposefully between fiction and nonfiction, the experienced and the observed. A protégé of the great Hou Hsiao-hsien, the Myanmar-born Midi Z is similarly adept at mixing lived reality with cinematic magic. His compassionate and artistically rigorous films often explore the lives of displaced people on the margins trying to navigate societal oppression and earn a decent living. His most recent film, NINA WU, marked a major step forward in terms of budget and scope while maintaining a crucial intimacy with the land and culture of his previous work.” Nina Wu was slated to be the closing night film at MoMI’s 2020 First Look Festival, an annual showcase of innovative, new international cinema that ended prematurely due to COVID-19.
The presentation also includes two new video discussions, one featuring critic Jessica Kiang in conversation with Midi Z and Wu Ke-Xi about NINA WU, and a career-focused conversation between Midi Z and Jeff Reichert, co-editor of Reverse Shot and Oscar-winning producer.
For more information, please visit MoMI’s official website: movingimage.us/MidiZ.
(We are now offering discount codes for the “Six Films by Midi Z” online retrospective. Please apply the code “TpeccNYMidiZ2021” at checkout to receive $5 off the series pass, or use “TpeccNYNinaWu2021” to receive $2 off Nina Wu tickets. The discount codes are subject to availability and are on a first-come, first served basis.)
Photo courtesy of Film Movement