The San Francisco Film Society in association with the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in San Francisco presents Taiwan Film Days, October 12–14 at New People Cinema, 1746 Post Street.
This exciting series focuses on the best of contemporary Taiwanese cinema and provides Bay Area audiences with unique opportunities to view bold new Taiwanese films and engage with visionary filmmakers. Now in its fourth year, Taiwan Film Days is an essential part of the Film Society’s Fall Season and a cinematic highlight for the local Chinese-speaking community and bold cinephiles of all stripes.
From opener Din Tao: Leader of the Parade with it’s charming blend of the traditional and the contemporary, to the feature film version of the ultra-popular television melodrama Days We Stared at the Sun, Taiwan Film Days 2012 showcases the breadth of style and subject of this vibrant filmmaking industry, while providing a snapshot of the current moment in Taiwanese society and culture. In addition to the six new films in the TFD lineup, Edward Yang’s epic 1991 film A Brighter Summer Day—recently ranked #84 in the Sight & Sound critic’s poll of the greatest films of all time—will be presented in a newly-restored 35mm print.
For complete program information, visit: http://sffs.org/Exhibition/SF-Film-Society-Cinema/Taiwan-Film-Days
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 12
3:00 pm Jump! Ashin
Lin Yu-hsien (Fan Kun Pa A Hsin, 2011)
As a young teen, Ashin, solidly played by Eddie Peng, is enamored of the athletic life; training and competing in gymnastics gives him focus and drive. When family and work responsibilities take him away from this love, Ashin and his best friend Pickle descend into the rudderless world of street fighting and drugs. Remarkably based on the true story of director Lin Yu-hsien’s older gymnast brother, Jump! Ashin fuses moving drama with inventive action and athletic sequences.
6:30 pm Din Tao: Leader of the Parade
OPENING NIGHT FILM
Fung Kai (Chen Tao, 2012)
Ah-Tai, a rock n’ roll guitarist with dreams of stardom returns home to rural Taichung and renews a bitter conflict with his estranged father, who trains disadvantaged youths in a traditional form of drumming known as Din-Tao. Ah-Tai initially wants nothing to do with this ritual, but is sucked into performing with the troupe when a rival from his youth challenges him. In the process, Ah-Tai transforms the company with his contemporary musical style.
8:30 pm Opening Night party with complimentary wine and hors d’oeuvres at Superfrog Gallery at New People.
9:30 pm Din Tao: Leader of the Parade
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 13
1:30 pm Joyful Reunion
Tsao Jui-yuan (Yin Shih Nan Niu – Hao Yuan Yo Hao Chin, 2011)
This humorous and thoughtful multigenerational film tells a delicate story of social classes, careers and romance, while turning an especially attentive eye towards depicting the importance (and joys) of cooking and eating.
4:00 pm Days We Stared at the Sun
Cheng Yu-chieh (Ta Men Tsai Pi Yeh Te Chien Yi Tien Pao Tsa, 2011)
This delicious melodrama, bursting with twists that are shocking, terrible and often incredibly unlikely, is the feature-length film version of the popular television series of the same name. Set in the world of high school, the film primarily focuses on two boys who find kinship in their shared pressures of family life, bullying, drug dependency, poverty and corruption.
6:30 pm Jump! Ashin see 10/12
9:30 pm Ye Zai
Tseng Ying-ting (Ye zai, 2012)
Scrappy and taut, this film infiltrates the underworld of illegal immigration and those who exploit it. Ye-zai is one of the most successful and resourceful workers in the new trade of hunting down and turning in illegal aliens and their employers for a reward from the Taiwanese government. One day, his estranged brother calls him to let him know that his father’s foreign and illegally employed caregiver has gone missing. Suddenly thrust into the position of the illegal employers he hunts, Ye-zai must find the missing caregiver within three days or risk losing the position he’s established for himself after years of hard work.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 14
12:00 pm Ye Zai see 10/13
2:00 pm A Brighter Summer Day
Edward Yang (Ku Ling Chieh Shao Nien Sha Jen Shih Chien, 1991)
Never before released in the United States and unavailable on DVD, Edward Yang’s extraordinary memory film stretches tautly over four hours of screen time and more than 100 speaking parts. Set in the early 1960s and inspired by the true story of Taiwan’s first juvenile homicide case, the film follows rebellious teenager Xiao Si’r as he comes of age amidst rival street gangs and the “White Terror” witch hunts of Chiang Kai-shek’s Kuomintang government.
7:00 pm Blowfish
Lee Chi-yuarn (Ho Tun, 2011)
From director Lee Chi-yuarn (an acclaimed poet in Taiwan) comes the story of Xiao-zhun, who, when she catches her boyfriend cheating on her, decides to find a better home for her pet blowfish by offering it in an online auction. A young baseball coach, alone and waiting for his wife to return to him from yet another extramarital excursion, takes part in the auction and purchases the blowfish. When Xiao-zhun delivers the fish, they form an instant connection and strike up an affair of their own, but lurking all the while are the deep and unspoken scars of their former lives.
9:00 pm Joyful Reunion see 10/13
Film tickets $11 for SFFS members, $13 general, $12 seniors, students and persons with disabilities; Opening Night film and party $20 for SFFS members, $25 general; Film Society CineVoucher 10-Packs $105 for SFFS members, $125 general. Fall Season Cinevisa $450. Box office opens September 4 for members and September 6 for the general public online at sffs.org.
Taiwan Film Days is sponsored by Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in San Francisco, Taiwan's Tourism Bureau, airline sponsor EVA Air and media sponsors Chinatown Newspaper, San Francisco Examiner and San Francisco Bay Guardian.