Taiwanese Cinema combines aesthetic innovation and political acuity to represent that distinctive set of experiences that mark the island’s abrupt transition from a sleepy agricultural colony into one of the most dynamic and democratic cultures on the Pacific Rim. New Taiwanese Cinema is seductive and challenging: the films we are presenting tell stories of displacement and exile, urbanity and loss. They are unflinchingly modern in sensibility, but maintain a strong sense of place and history.
—Curator Catherine Liu,
Associate Professor of Film & Media Studies
Thursday, February 12 • 7pm
(Zui hao de shi guang)
Voted 2005’s Best Undistributed Film by both the Village Voice National Critics Poll and Film Comment, Taiwanese master Hou Hsiao-hsien’s elegant and rapturously beautiful cinematic masterpiece Three Times evokes a sentimental tale of an unfinished love by delving into three stories occurring in three different time periods — 1966, 1911, 2005, and played out by the same actor and actress, Shu Qi and Chang Chen, in the lead roles. Year 1966: “A Time for Love”— A young woman and a soldier struggle to maintain contact, seeking solace in stolen moments together. Year 1911: “A Time for Freedom”—During the Japanese occupation of Taiwan, a married diplomat battles his modern principles when winning the admiration of a courtesan. Present Day: “A Time for Youth”- Under the threat of war with China, A young bisexual woman becomes involved in a three-way love affair.
Directed by Hou Hsiao-hsien
2006, Taiwan • 120 minutes • 35mm
In Mandarin and Taiwanese with English subtitles
Thursday, February 19 • 7pm
Director Hsiao Chu-chen points her camera at her father, a retired soldier. In 1949, the Nationalist government retreated from mainland China to Taiwan with 600,000 soldiers. In his twenties at the time, Hsiao’s father believed as did many others they would soon return to China with the Nationalist government. But it took forty years for relations across the straits to be re-established, and it was futile even to dream of returning home. Hsiao uses an ornamental hairpin that belonged to her grandmother left behind on the mainland as the key to her father’s world, bringing forth his feelings towards the China of that era and the remembrances of other retired soldiers.
Directed by Hsiao Chu-chen
2000, Taiwan • 90 minutes • DVD
In Chinese with English subtitles