- DATE : 08/10/2021 12/10/2021
- TIME : 17:45–20:00
- VENUE : Filmhouse
Tickets purchase via Filmhouse website
8 October 2021 My Missing Valentine 消失的情人節
Director CHEN Yu-Hsun / 2020 / Taiwan / 119 mins
Hsiao-chi (Patty Lee) always rushes when doing everything; she rushes when singing in a choir and jumps into the swimming pool before anyone else; even when taking a picture, she acts at a quicker pace than the rest. Nevertheless, she is quite slow in her love life, remaining single as she approaches thirty.
A quick and efficient worker, Hsiao-chi serves all sorts of customers every day in the post office. Seeing that Valentine’s Day is coming up, she pretends that she doesn’t care. However, when she gets home, she tunes in to the call-in radio show on relationship and fantasizing about going on a romantic date.
Tai is a bus driver who is as slow as a sloth. He was slow in playing rock-paper-scissors when he was little since he could never catch up with the tempo. Thanks to a relative’s recommendation, he gets a job as bus driver, following the same daily routine. Tai has a habit – every day, he goes to the post office counter behind which Hsiao-chi works to send a letter by ordinary delivery. One quick and the other slow, Hsiao-chi and Tai are such a sharp contrast to each other. They seem to have nothing in common and Hsiao-chi always gets impatient with Tai, but Tai nevertheless enjoys their daily exchange…
A few days before Valentine’s Day, Hsiao-chi runs into handsome Wenson (Duncan Chou) on her way home after work. To her surprise, Wenson chats Hsiao-chi up and things move so fast between them that they not only go to see a movie together but plan a date on Valentine’s Day! ‘Finally, God has answered my prayers’, Hsiao-chi says to herself, looking so much forward to the arrival of Valentine’s Day. However, she can never expect that when she wakes up from sleep, Valentine’s Day has disappeared…
9 October 2021 The Silent Forest 無聲
Director KO Chen-Nien/ 2020 / Taiwan / 108 mins
Deaf teenager Chang Cheng transfers to a school for children with special needs. However, the world of the hearing-impaired doesn’t seem quiet at all. When Chang witnesses the “game” taking place in the last row on the school bus, his excitement about blending into a new environment immediately turns into fear. Seeing Bei Bei, the girl he has a crush on, getting hurt so badly, Xiao Guang, the ringleader, behaving like a king and other schoolmates acting innocent, Chang debates with himself on whether he should reveal the cruel truth about the game or whether he should join in. As the divide between the perpetrators and the victim begins to blur, confusion and anxiety grow among everyone in school.
10 October 2021 I WeirDo 怪胎
Director LIAO Ming-Yi / 2020 / Taiwan / 102 mins
Po-Ching is an OCD patient, with serious symptoms of mysophobia. He has been conditioned to the endless cleaning habits in his daily life. His “quirkiness” has also isolated him from the general public and people see him as a complete weirdo. Po-Ching goes out for daily needs shopping on the 15th of each month. Someday, he meets another weirdo Chen Ching.
It is fate to make Po-Ching and Chen Ching meet each other. They finally find another who is in the same boat. Their relationship is spotless and perfect. But everything becomes different when Po-Ching’s OCD disappears suddenly.
In the world of love, we are each other’s weirdos. When the love is gone, I am not attracted to your quirkiness anymore.
11 October 2021 Master Sheng Yen 本來面目
Director CHANG Chao-Wei/ 2020 / Taiwan / 115 mins
Director’s Q&A for Spotlight Taiwan Film Festival in Edinburgh
In the 1940s, the time that the fate of the Chinese people and the dignity of Chinese Buddhism fell into the nadir, a 14-year-old boy was ordained to be a Buddhist monk in Nantong, Jiangsu Province,China. Since then he had embarked on the journey of pursuing and spreading the Dharma for nearly 70 years. It was, moreover, a course for him to explore the refuge of his faith and life’s dignity.
This Buddhist monk, who didn’t even graduate from elementary school, received a doctorate in literature when he was nearly 50 years old in Japan, accomplishing the unprecedented work in the history of Chinese Buddhism. Worldly statuses, however, didn’t bring him much fame and wealth. He even once lived on the streets of New York when he was 50.
Master Sheng Yen portrays Master Sheng Yen’s turbulent life and times in the form of a factual movie. The film unfolds on the streets of New York in 1979, relating the course of Master Sheng Yen’s life with 10-year chapters, including The Dying Fire of His Faith (1949), Second Ordination (1959), Leaving for Japan (1969), Chan Practice and Spreading the Dharma (1979), Founding Dharma Drum Mountain (1989), Care for Life and Death (1999), and Master Sheng Yen’s Passing Away (2009).
Master Sheng Yen presents different phases of Master Sheng Yen’s life through his talks on Dharma, journals, medical records, writings, photos and videos. The film, in addition, also re-enacts the important encounters of Master Sheng Yen’s early life with real-person animation. The film also collects interviews from Master Sheng Yen’s disciples and his close friends regarding what they saw and learned from the master.
In this world, Master Sheng Yen cultivated himself between the Buddhist masters before him and his baby-boomer disciples, between the advanced West and the East that was running to catch up, between the gradually sophisticated secular world and the slowly weakened religious faith, and between life and death. In the meantime, the course of his life also oscillated between conflicts and reconciliations, between tradition and innovation, between past and future, and between taking on and letting go. Instead of a propagandist style seen in conventional religious films, Master Sheng Yen tries to present the master’s unordinary life with a straightforward, honest and ordinary attitude, and this is exactly the sentiment that today’s world needs to embrace and say, “Thus I have heard.”
12 October 2021 Classmates Minus 同學麥娜絲
Director HUANG Hsin-Yao / 2020 / Taiwan / 122 mins
There are five of us — the four main characters and myself, the narrator. We are old friends from the same class in high school. This is a recent story about us all facing midlife crises that takes places in Central/Southern Taiwan.
Men in their 40s are suspended in the middle of nowhere, between stages of life. Like us, we don’t have goals to strive for, let alone opportunities to fight for. Some of us simply give up on hope, and some struggle onwards. I, the narrator of this film, will tell you a story about my friends. I will begin the story with fragments of their lives since I won the Golden Horse awards. My life has changed a little because of the awards, but their lives have changed drastically because of some trivial events.
Old-fashioned and slightly worn-down, this bubble tea house used to be popular more than 20 years ago. It has been a hangout place for us since we were teenagers. In this place, we talked about chicks when we were young, we exchanged work information when we were older. And now it has become a refuge for us to kill time, to seek empathy from each other, and to hide away from family and work.
The storylines of my friends are intertwined with one another. There’s a middle-aged director who is frustrated with his undiscovered talents (Ming-Tian Wu, aka Tom; representing Dreams and Aspirations), a hard-working white-collar worker who is depressed about his lack of achievement (Dian-Feng Chen, aka Fan Man; representing Life), an idle part-timer at the Household Registration Office who is hesitant about love (Guan-Tao Lin, aka Tin Can; representing Love), and a paper offering maker who is able to communicate with the dead but doesn’t know why (Hong-Chang Li, aka Blockage; representing Fate).
This is not some film with important moral lessons. This is a film with the following central theme – life is just so fucking ridiculous!