The fans of not only Taiwanese cinema have something to look forward to as Lucerna will be presenting from the 10th to 14th of May a festival of Taiwanese films.
Organised by the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Prague (TECO), the festival will start on Wednesday the 10th of May with CHUNG Mong-Hong’s film GODSPEED (2016) followed by an official reception. Altogether Lucerna will show 8 films, giving the audience a chance to a sample some of the best that contemporary Taiwanese cinema has to offer. This includes the films STEP BACK TO GLORY (2013), BLUE GATE CROSING (2002) and SOUL (2013).
On the rare occasions when Taiwanese films are shown in the Czech Republic, there are considered a mere exotic curiosity. Yet Taiwanese cinema has a long tradition and is presently also successful internationally. Taiwanese films are far from being just provincial. They may mirror the experience of life on the island but their message is universal.
The festival will be presenting three films of the director CHUNG Mong-Hong, THE FOURTH PORTRAIT which deals with the trauma of a child coming to terms with his traumatic past experiences, SOUL about coming to terms, on both a religious and a psychological level, with the loss of someone close and GODSPEED, a gangster movie about people striving to live a normal life in spite of finding themselves in a highly dangerous situation. CHUNG Hong-Mung has received a number of awards both at home and abroad and his work nicely illustrates how a piece of cinematographic work can be closely identified with its geographical origin, yet allows a spectator from a completely different country to identify with the protagonists.
Childhood, becoming an adult and the difficult life of Taiwanese youngsters are frequent subjects of films of the so called New Taiwanese Wave. Will shall find the theme in the films HANG IN THERE, KIDS, A TIME IN QUCHI and BLUE GATE CROSSING. (Jan Rybar, the festival art director)
Don’t miss the opportunity of an exceptional cinematographic experience, a chance to get to know contemporary Taiwan in all its complexity.
The tickets are 100 crowns for each film, the films are all in Chinese with Czech and English subtitles.
Na Dow carries out his drug-delivering routine by taking a cab down south and returning in the same cab on the same day. One day he reluctantly gets into a shabby taxi driven by the carefree, innocent Xu, who came to Taiwan more than 20 years ago and somehow decided to stay. Na Dow's plan to reform himself and Xu's wish for a peaceful life take a wrong turn when they become the target of a mob attack. The drugs and the money are gone, and both Na Dow and Xu are held hostage in the trunk of a car. Show more
|Wednesday, 10. 5. 2017|
Wei and his wife, a piano teacher, are expecting a baby in three months. In three months, Ming will be married to Yuo, a cook and the love of her life. Yet all this ended in a horrible car crash leaving Wei and Ming alone to face the world in emptiness. Everything that was left behind seems unchanged, but is forever different. They choose different paths, different ways of mourning. Like two mice lost in a labyrinth, Wei runs around in circles, hitting walls, and still ends up where he began. Ming calmly and slowly creeps down a determined path, seemingly moving forward, but towards a fatal dead end. Days go on not feeling like days and the only thing that lets them know that time is still moving forward is the weekly seven-seventh ritual that they both go to up in a mountain temple. It is only there that their paths cross. In a crowd of hundreds of mourners, Wei and Ming notice each other and recognize the pain within the other. Embarking on separate journeys, Wei decides to visit the homes of all this wife’s piano students, returning their tuition fees for the lessons that will never be taught. Ming decides to go to Okinawa, the honeymoon she and her fiancée will never go to together. Show more
|Thursday, 11. 5. 2017|
Ten year-old Xiang faces a lonely future after his father dies. Just when he thinks he's going to spend his life in the orphanage, his estranged mother shows up. And his life changes forever... A loveless mother, a hateful stepfather, a chilly home. Where's Xiang heading to? He finds comfort in drawing and his work reveals his longing for care and affection. Life is full of hope again when he meets the old school janitor who doesn't show his kindness easily and a portly man who has crazy ideas and is haunted with nightmares of his brother. A scary truth is about to be unmasked. Will Xiang be able to depict his own image in the fourth portrait? Show more
|Thursday, 11. 5. 2017|
In a secluded indigenous tribe, 3 kids who grew up in the mountains and the woods. They are all very optimistic, energetic and playful; yet, they are also troubled by their own family issues. Their handicapped teacher opened an after school session to help them with their schoolwork. For the children, it’s like a ray of love shone on them. The teacher has a beautiful voice, but never sings. Until one day, the 3 kids found a tape of their teacher’s recording and were amazed by her voice. They decided to bring this tape to Taipei.... What changes will this trip bring to all of their lives? Show more
|Friday, 12. 5. 2017|
Young teen Bao and (a bit later) his kid sister Seaweed are parked with their recently bereaved grandpa in Quchi while their parents plan a divorce. Bao makes a new aboriginal friend on the basketball court and then loses him in an accident, but there are no sexed-up dramas. Thanks to Chang’s masterly direction, none of the main strands of plot – urban/rural dislocation, the generation gap, comparisons between grandpa’s disintegrating family and the impoverished-but-close family next door – plays out quite as you might expect. The sensitivity to childhood experience is almost uncanny; Chang, himself recently divorced, dedicates the film to his son. Show more
|Friday, 12. 5. 2017|
Chun-ying's great performance in sports gives her the chance to enroll in a prestigious girls' high school in Taipei. Living in the countryside, she has to leave home and live at the school on her own. Once allocated, she joins the tug of war team. To her surprise, her teammates are able to relate to her in terms of their disadvantaged backgrounds and goals for the future. This marks the start on their arduous journey to become world champions. Show more
|Saturday, 13. 5. 2017|
Best friends Meng Ke-rou (Guey Lun-mei) and Lin Yueh-chen (Liang Shu-hui) are 17-year-old high school girls. When Yueh-chen admits she likes the boy swimming champ Chang Shih-hao (Chen Bo-lin), she talks Ke-rou into talking to him for her. But Shih-hao ends up liking Ke-rou instead, and the rest of the film develops their sweet friendship and adolescent romance. The only problem is that Ke-rou thinks she might be a lesbian because she's in love with her best friend Yueh-chen. Show more
|Saturday, 13. 5. 2017|
A-Chuan, a quiet 30-year-old man working as a chef in a Japanese restaurant, collapses suddenly and is rushed to a hospital. His colleagues send him to his father, who resides in the mountains. While there, A-Chuan becomes immobile: he won't speak, eat or even go to the toilet on his own. One day his father returns from work only to find A-Chuan sitting in the corner with his daughter lying dead in a pool of blood. In an unfamiliar, eerily calm voice, A-Chuan says, "I saw this body was empty, so I moved in. Show more
|Sunday, 14. 5. 2017|