Taiwan Film and Audiovisual Institute (TFAI) collaborates with the Korean Film Archive (KOFA) on a special program entitled, “Cities on Film: Taipei”, which will be available online from 16th June to 29th June. In the program, Taipei is divided into three periods, including “Taipei in Classics”, “Taipei in Transition” and “Taipei in Love”. Through different times, we explore the relations between the evolution and functions of the city and cinema, leading the audience to see the unique and admirable impressions of Taipei shown in these films. This is the first large-scale program, on which the TFAI works with the KOFA since the signing of The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two organizations in 2019, and it signifies the deeper and wider cultural exchange between the Taiwanese and Korean cinema.
After New York, Hong Kong, Paris and Tokyo, the “Cities on Film” focuses on Taipei this year. The idea originated from the “Cities on Film” curated by the KOFA Cinematheque in 2015, which put together a series of films on a number of major cities in the world. These films convey the rapid changes that these cities underwent in the past few decades. Via these films made by different schools of filmmakers, we look into how the cities, which have evolved with time, interact and clash with their residents. Full of their unique charms, the 17 films chosen for this program tell the stories of Taipei; some of them are romantic, crazy and lively and some sorrowful, cold and dull. This program is expected to bring a brand-new vision of cinema to the contemporary audience.
The three sections of the program represent Taipei in different periods. In “Taipei in Classics”, five films made between the 1960s and the 1970s and preserved at the TFAI are selected. They include The Husband’s Secret and Six Suspects directed by Lin Tuan-chiu and 2K digitally restored by the TFAI in 2017, Moon Fascinating, Bird Sweet directed by Chen Yao-chi and The Wild Goose on the Wing directed by Liu Li-li, both of which are screen adaptations of Chiung Yao’s romances that star Brigitte Lin and 30,000 Leagues in Search of Mother directed by KAO Zen-Ho. These directors created such unique images of Taipei in their works. Amongst them, four are sponsored by Taiwan Cinema Toolkit (TCT), which aims to promote Taiwanese culture and cinema on the international stage.
In 1960, director Lin Tuan-chiu made “Wrong Love” and handed it to the distributor. In 1965, the distributor asked Lin to re-edit a shorter version and changed the title to “The Husband’s Secret”, which would appeal to the mass audience.
In “Taipei in Transition”, six films made between the 1980s and the mid-1990s are selected. Known as the Taiwanese New Wave, they include Taipei Story and The Terrorizers directed by Edward Yang, Rebels of the Neon God and Vive L'Amour directed by Tsai Ming-liang, Super Citizen Ko directed by Wan Jen and Eat Drink Man Woman directed by Ang Lee. Made just before and after the martial law was lifted in Taiwan, these social realist films, which initiated the Taiwanese New Wave, faithfully portray not only the Taiwanese society but also the unique looks of Taipei when the country underwent dramatic social, political and economic changes in that period.
“Super Citizen Ko” was 2K digitally restored by the TFAI in 2015. It has been screened at the Taipei Film Festival as well as many events on human rights or the White Terror held in the private sector.
“Taipei in Love” features six Taiwanese films made between the 1990s and the 2010s. Starting with Blue Moon directed by Ko Yi-chen, the next five films set in the cosmopolitan Taipei and shot after the millennium represent the Taiwan that has been through a turbulent time and gradually gained multiple new looks. From various innovative points of view, these films interpret the complicated relationships between lovers, friends and family that men and women in Taipei are confronted with. Stories like these not only exist in Taipei but represent the precious universal feelings shared by human beings. These feelings could be conveyed via cinema, which overcomes the language and cultural barriers, and resonate with the Korean audience.
Both the TFAI and the KOFA are members of the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF) and the Southeast Asia-Pacific Audiovisual Archive Association (SEAPAVAA) and have been in partnership for years. This program on a large-scale is of great significance as it is the first collaboration between the TFAI and the KOFA since The MOU was signed. Moreover, on 19 May 2020, the Taiwan Film Institute (TFI) became an administrative institution and changed its name to the Taiwan Film and Audiovisual Institute (TFAI). Through preservation, restoration, research, promotion and education, the TFAI aims to enrich the history of the contemporary Taiwanese cinema and the Taiwanese audiovisual culture. TFAI will continue working with international organizations and inject the creative energy of Taiwan cinema into the world.
Program Official Website
1. Taipei in Classics
The Husband’s Secret (1960) dir. Lin Tuan-chiu
Six Suspects (1965) dir. Lin Tuan-chiu
30,000 Leagues in Search of Mother (1971) dir. KAO Zen-Ho
Moon Fascinating, Bird Sweet (1978) dir. Chen Yao-chi
The Wild Goose on the Wing (1979) dir. Liu Li-li
2. Taipei in Transition
Taipei Story (1985) dir. Edward Yang
The Terrorizers (1986) dir. Edward Yang
Rebels of the Neon God (1992) dir. Tsai Ming-liang
Vive L'Amour (1994) dir. Tsai Ming-liang
Super Citizen Ko (1994) dir. Wang Jen
Eat Drink Man Woman (1994) dir. Ang Lee
3. Taipei in Love
Blue Moon (1997) dir. Ko I-chen
Yi Yi (2000) dir. Edward Yang
Blue Gate Crossing (2002) dir. Yee Chih-yen
Pinoy Sunday (2009) dir. Ho Wi Ding
Au Revoir Taipei (2010) dir. Arvin Chen
Missing Jonny (2017) dir. Huang Xi