A long-awaited lineup of Taiwan’s film is going to bring laughter and tears to local audience in 2015 New York Asian Film Festival, starting from June 26. Supported by the Ministry of Culture and the Taipei Cultural Center in New York, these 4 contemporary films featuring unique Taiwan flavor are not to be missed this summer.
MEETING DR. SUN | 行動代號孫中山
Running Time: 94 minutes
Language: Mandarin and Taiwanese with English subtitles
Director: Yee Chih-Yen
Cast: Zhan Huai-Ting, Matthew Wei, Joseph Chang, Bryan Chang
Showtimes: Tuesday, June 30, 8:30pm at Walter Reade Theatre
One of the best heist movies you’ll ever see, only this time it’s not about cool professionals pulling off one last job. Instead it’s a deadpan send-up of the genre about two rival gangs of high school students, desperate to pay their school fees, who simultaneously decide to steal their school’s statue of national hero, Dr. Sun Yat-sen, to sell for scrap metal. So stone-faced you almost don’t see the comedy coming until it’s too late, this movie specializes in the absurdity of kids driven to extremes, but what starts as schoolyard slapstick becomes an urgent call for Taiwan’s youth to stand up and fight. Director Yee Chih-Yen will attend the screening.
PARTNERS IN CRIME | 共犯
New York Premiere
Taiwan-Hong Kong, 2014
Running Time: 88 minutes
Language: Mandarin with English Subtitles
Director: Chang Jung-Chi
Cast: Wu Chien-Ho, Teng Yu-Kai, Cheng Kai-Yuan, Yao Ai-Ning
Showtimes: Saturday, July 11 at 3:15pm Beatrice Theatre
When a schoolgirl takes a swan dive off her balcony, she hits the street at the feet of three classmates who are total strangers. Convinced that there’s more to her suicide than meets the eye, these kids team up Veronica Mars-style to investigate her to suicide. But instead of being a whodunit, the bottom falls out, one death leads to another, and life becomes a nightmare. Shot through with sudden flashes of light, set in a high school inexplicably located in the middle of a steaming jungle, Partners in Crime is what would happen if David Lynch directed River’s Edge. Much more than the sum of its parts, the mystery at the heart of this story isn’t why did a kid kill herself, but why do we all feel so alone even when we’re in a crowd.
CAFÉ. WAITING. LOVE | 等一個人咖啡
North American Premiere
Running Time: 120 minutes
Language: Mandarin with English subtitles
Director: Chiang Chin-lin
Cast: Vivian Sung, Bruce, Megan Lai, Marcus Chang
Showtimes: Thursday, July 9, 7:30pm at Beatrice Theatre
Three years after his record-breaking debut, You are the Apple of My Eye, writer/director Giddens Ko has penned an irresistibly zany romantic comedy, based on his book of the same name, this time with Chiang Chin-lin in the director’s seat. Following Siying (Vivian Sung), an undergrad and part-time worker at the titular café, the film zips through unrequited crushes, dreams of travel, hot sausages, bowls of tau fu fah (sweet soya bean pudding), and even the supernatural like a gag-manga inspired bullet. Vivian Sung and Bruce shine as the young leads, sharing a charismatic and electrifying chemistry. Vivian Chow also makes a rare and glamorous appearance after years of withdrawing from the public eye.
SECOND CHANCE | 逆轉勝
East Coast Premiere
Running Time: 105 minutes
Language: Mandarin and Taiwanese with English Subtitles
Director: Wen-Yen Kung
Cast: Wen Shang-Yi, P.J. Huang, Angel Yao, Jason Wang
Showtimes: Saturday, July 11, 1:00pm at Beatrice Theatre
Like Rocky except for billiards instead of boxing, and also if Rocky Balboa was a Type-A, overachieving schoolgirl, this flick offers up a stylish twist on the sports movie, getting you to pump your fist for break shots, high runs, and head strings. Like Full Strike, it’s another movie about a washed-up champ who teams up with a younger player for a second chance, this time a young girl who might lose her house after the death of her parents. With charm to burn, a giddy 80s movie love for the underdog, a who’s who of billiards stars making cameos, and super-stylishly shot matches, it’s the summer billiards blockbuster you didn’t know you needed.
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