2009-01-31

Taiwan Films 2008

2008 was a landmark year for Taiwanese film, but the success of this past year didn't come from nowhere. Brian Hu reports in Asia Pacific Arts:

Years ago, 'support local films' was a flimsy government slogan akin to propaganda. Now, 'support local films' is something movie fans tell each other, pumping ticket sales and curbing piracy. As a result, Cape No. 7 pulled in over US$7 million in Taipei alone, while other films like Orz Boyz and The Legend of Formosa in 1895 rode Cape No. 7's momentum to impressive box office.

But Taiwan's Cape fever monopolized the discourse on Taiwanese cinema, making it seem that Taiwanese cinema should be split into pre-Cape and post-Cape eras. The film was heralded as such a revolution that most forgot that Taiwanese cinema in 2008 was not just a sudden shock to the system, but that it followed 2007, 2006, 2005, etc, emerging out of past aesthetic and thematic trends, and a result of various government policies, financing patterns, and phenomena of transnational distribution.


Hu then offers his own Top Ten films for the year. Here, for inclusion on your Netflix lists and your subsequent future enjoyment, are the films.

1. Drifting Flowers 漂浪青春
director: Zero Chou 周美玲

2. Candy Rain 花吃了那女孩
director: Chen Hung-I 陳宏一

3. Orz Boyz 冏男孩
director: Yang Ya-che 楊雅喆

4. Winds of September 九降風
director: Tom Lin Shu-yu 林書宇

5. Cape No. 7 海角七號
director: Wei Te-sheng 魏德聖

6. Parking 停車
director: Chung Mong-hong 鍾孟宏

7. God Man Dog 流浪神狗人
director: Singing Chen 陳芯宜

8. Soul of a Demon 蝴蝶
director: Chang Tso-chi 張作驥

9. What on Earth Have I Done Wrong?! 情非得已之生存之道
director: Doze Niu 鈕承澤

10. Miao Miao 渺渺
director: Cheng Hsiao-tse 程孝澤


The complete article, with excellent discussion of each film, appears at the site of
Asia Pacific Arts published by UCLA.

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