TaiwanPlus, a new global English-language video streaming service, has launched a Taiwan Cinema program with a selection of ten films that exemplify the diversity of Taiwan’s culture, peoples, and history. The most prominent collection is Ang Lee’s ‘Father Knows Best’ trilogy. Notably, this is the first time the films are available to be streamed online together. Director Lee’s strength in bringing together family members to create tension and tender comedic moments shine in this trio of PUSHING HANDS (1991), EAT DRINK MAN WOMAN (1994), and THE WEDDING BANQUET (1993).
Renowned actor Sihung Lung acts as the consummate traditional Taiwanese father in roles that evoke the sweet bitterness of an aging man trying to bring each casts’ family together. Hailed for their unrestrained portrayals of Eastern family dynamics, the collection is available for free until December 31, 2021 to global viewers outside of the United States, Canada, Mexico, Germany, and France at TaiwanPlus.com via the website’s new Cinema section and downloadable TaiwanPlus mobile app.
In addition, seven other films will be presented until December 31, 2021 that will take viewers back to some of Taiwan’s greatest films outside of the Taiwan New Cinema Wave. “Movies are the best way to convey culture and emotions. Through these ten films of different eras and themes, we provide the audience a window into Taiwan’s culture and diversity.” says Joanne Tsai, TaiwanPlus CEO.
In addition to Ang Lee’s renowned films, the program is showcasing films directed by Chung Mong-hong, who recently won Best Narrative Feature and Best Original Screenplay for THE FALLS (2021) at this year’s Golden Horse Awards. The After Death duo that brings us to edgier contemporary Taiwanese films that dare to dive into darker narratives. THE FOURTH PORTRAIT (2010) follows the story of a son left behind after the death of his father while in SOUL (2013), the mysterious collapse of a young chef leads to a terrifying spiritual possession in the mountains.
A trio of restored films include two cult favorite black and white films from the Taiwan Hollywood era of the 1960s– THE FANTASY OF DEER WARRIOR (1961) and VENGEANCE OF THE PHOENIX SISTERS (1968) along with WHEEL OF LIFE (1983), an anthology helmed by King Hu that features three main characters reincarnating into the same twisted love triangle in each segment.
Rounding out the series are two documentaries. In SMALL TALK (2016) by Huang Hui-chen, a 20 year film in the making where the filmmaker attempts to confront and reconcile painful past memories with her mother, a lesbian Taoist priestess. Meanwhile, in ARCHIVING TIME (2019), viewers follow a group of film preservation staff from the Taiwan Film and Audiovisual Institute as they work to preserve crumbling reels of film the world has yet to see.
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