"Taiwan's Lost Commercial Cinema — Recovered and Restored," a symposium and 13-nation tour featuring iconic Taiwanese-language films known as taiyupian, will kick off in the United Kingdom on Feb. 7. Apart from seven newly restored and subtitled dramatic films, four contemporary short films inspired by archival materials will be shown as well.
Taiwanese-language films, the first of which was produced in 1956, are valuable cultural assets that hold historical and cultural significance. Between 1956 and the early 1970s, over a thousand Taiwanese-language films were made in Taiwan.
However, only roughly 200 Taiwanese-language films survived due to budget troubles and primeval archives at that time. To bring back these valuable assets and reintroduce them to the public, the Taiwan Film Institute initiated the Taiwan Cinema Digital Restoration Project in 2013 to repair and make those films available again.
The tour will kick off with a symposium on Feb. 7 at King's College London. Chaired by film scholar Chris Berry, it will bring together seven speakers, including University of London research associate Ming-Yeh Rawnsley, Cinémathèque Française's Dr. Wafa Ghermani, former Director of the Taiwan Film Institute Dr. Chen Pin-chuan, and professor Chi Ta-wei of National Chengchi University to examine the development of Taiwanese-language films from an academic perspective.
The symposium participants will also compile notes that will guide British and European audiences to learn more about Taiwan's culture through such valuable film assets.
Following the symposium, a screening tour featuring seven restored Taiwanese-language films and four contemporary shorts will be launched across Europe to showcase such iconic films as "The Husband's Secret (丈夫的秘密)," "Encounter at the Station (難忘的火車站)," and "The Rice Dumpling Vendors (燒肉粽)."
Starting Feb. 7, the films will tour the UK cities of Bristol, Edinburgh, Manchester, Nottingham, and Portsmouth and travel to Austria (Vienna), Belgium (Brussels), Czech Republic (Prague), Finland (Helsinki), France (Lyon, Paris), Germany (Tubingen), Italy (Naples, Venice), Lithuania (Vilnius), Norway (Oslo), Poland (Krakow), Slovenia (Ljubljana), and Sweden (Gothenburg) through 2020.
For more information and screening details, please visit the English-language event site at https://taiyupian.uk/.
1960: The Husband's Secret (丈夫的秘密)
1965: Encounter at the Station (難忘的火車站)
1965: May 13th, Night of Sorrow (五月十三傷心夜)
1965: Six Suspects (六個嫌疑犯)
1965: Tarzan and the Treasure (泰山與寶藏)
1967: Foolish Bride, Naïve Bridegroom (三八新娘憨子婿)
1969: The Rice Dumpling Vendors (燒肉粽)
2019: Grandmother's Small Talk (阿嬤的秘密)
2019: Onstage Appearance (隨片登台)
2019: Binding (燒肉粽2019)
2019: Like Father, Like Daughter (前世情人的情人)