This year’s edition of Taiwan Film Days, sponsored by the San Francisco Film Society, features a very special spotlight on master filmmaker Hou Hsiao-hsien, celebrating his remarkable influence on international art cinema for the last three decades. Director Hou, who received the Best Director prize at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, is expected to attend the series kickoff event. Taiwan Film Days takes place from October 12-13, 2015.
Visit the San Francisco Film Society website and to purchase tickets: http://www.sffs.org/exhibition/fall-season-2015/taiwan-film-days
Tag along with Taiwanese American Professionals-SF: https://www.facebook.com/events/1693111274237112/
The films to be screened include:
October 12, 2015 @ 6:30pm and 9:30pm at Embarcadero Center Cinema
Set in ninth-century China, the film centers on Nie Yinniang (played by smoldering Shu Qi) a female killer appointed to slay corrupt government officials by her master, Jiaxin, a nun who raised her from the age of ten. When Yinniang displays mercy by failing to kill during her duties, Jiaxing punishes her with a ruthless assignment designed to test Yinniang’s resolve. Director Hou’s highly anticipated epic has been seven years in the making and represents a departure in his oeuvre. Known for contemplative, humanist dramas infused with the presence of history, director Hou’s meticulous style looms over Taiwanese New Cinema and has influenced a generation of art filmmakers the world over. Cinephiles who have wondered how Hou would tackle the martial arts genre will be delightfully greeted with Mark Lee Ping Bing’s ravishing cinematography and fight sequences that highlight the debatable morality in Yinniang’s vocation rather than only glorifying the violence in her estimable badassery. This is a not-to-be-missed event for all film lovers.
Flowers of Taipei: Taiwan New Cinema
October 13, 2015 @ 6:15 pm at Embarcadero Center Cinema
Expertly presenting the origins, trajectory, importance and, above all, the arresting beauty of the Taiwnese New Cinema movement of the 1980s and ’90s, Flowers of Taipei gives everything one would wish and more in a movie about movies. Featuring interviews with renowned critics, filmmakers and curators, director Chinlin Hsieh establishes the unique and lasting influence of makers such as Hou Hsiao-hsien, Edward Yang and Wang Tung continue to have on contemporary aesthetics. Paired with the numerous insights are gorgeous archival clips that remain remarkably fresh and provide immediacy to the eloquent rhapsodies many of the documentary’s subjects present on their favorite moments in films such as Taipei Story, The Boys from Fengkuei and A Flower in the Rainy Night. Audience members will not only leave with a new perspective on the history of cinema, they will be inspired by the power of moving images to figure the world and history and recharged with the excitement that originally made us cinephiles.
The Boys from Fengkuei
October 13, 2015 @ 9:00 pm at Embarcadero Center Cinema
Newly restored by the Cinémathèque Royale Belgique in collaboration with Hou Hsiao-hsien and the Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project is Hou’s iconic The Boys from Fengkuei. From the 1983 London Film Festival: “The past two years have seen a major revolution in Taiwanese cinema, with a breakthrough by younger directors paralleling that in Hong Kong five years ago. Hou Hsiao-hsien’s fourth feature is strikingly emblematic of the shift towards a greater naturalism and subjects dealing with youth and provincial life. The film follows the fortunes of a trio of bored teenagers who move from the small island of Fengkuei to the port of Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan, showing with sympathy and quiet humor a whole social stratum dispossessed of the Taiwanese economic dream and wandering aimlessly without a clear sense of purpose. Ch’en K’un-hou’s striking camerawork stresses the desolate beauty of the youth’s Fengkuei existence and the more intense (but less secure) life of Kaohsiung. The baroque soundtrack (Bach, Vivaldi) perfectly underpins the picture’s involving style, aided by a central trio of performances which mingle exuberance and naturalism in equal measure.” —Derek Elley
All films will be screened at:
Embarcadero Center Cinema
1 Embarcadero Ctr, San Francisco, California 94111