The Taiwan Academy in Los Angeles will kick off the Year of the Goat with free screenings of 9 Taiwanese blockbusters starting March 5 at its Westwood headquarters.
The Taiwan Film Series is an ongoing public event designed to engage West Coast moviegoers. Award-winning films and classic productions alike are sent overseas to introduce more people to Taiwan's unique way of life, and discussions are often held after screenings to facilitate people's understanding of cultural nuances.
This season's lineup will include action-oriented blockbusters like police film "Black & White Episode 1: The Dawn of Assault (痞子英雄首部曲:全面開戰)” and horror drama "Zombie 108 (棄城),” as well as coming-of-age stories like "Island Etude (練習曲)” and "A Time in Quchi (暑假作業).”
There will also be quirkier-than-thou films such as "Seven Days in Heaven (父後七日),” which examines Taiwan's mourning rituals with bleak humor, and "The Rooftop (天台),” an extravaganza mixing musical sequences with martial arts.
Event organizers have also included more relatable films that focus on small, personal talk among strangers in coffee house settings, such as "Taipei Exchange (第36個故事)” starring the popular actress Gwei Lun-mei (桂綸鎂), as well as award-winning productions like "Ice Poison (冰毒)” from internationally renowned filmmaker Midi Z (趙德胤).
The last film to be screened this season was chosen for its experimental elements —"10+10” is a montage of 5-minute short films made by 20 different Taiwan-based directors. The project initiated by the Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival aims to demonstrate the solidarity between filmmakers and how their homeland has shaped their aesthetics and collective values.
"The Rooftop" is a musical extravaganza combining elements of martial arts and special effects. It is the second feature film directed by Taiwanese singer/actor Jay Chou, who plays multiple roles in the production of the film as the main lead, director, script-writer, and music composer.
"Ice Poison" by Midi Z: A young farmer and his father are barely able to survive on their meagre corn harvest, so they make their way down from the mountains to a village to borrow money from their relatives working in jade mines or on opium plantations. But missing paperwork, deceit, and corruption have left them impoverished too. Finally, the father pawns his cow for a moped so that his son can earn a living as a taxi driver.