charming Taiwan movies

Taiwan’s film industry has been experiencing a revival in the last couple of years although it’s not easy getting back on its feet given competition from China and its big budget movies. The Taiwan market is small and while its entertainment industry is crowded with famous actors, they  end up working in the mainland because the pay is good and the exposure is better.

This hasn’t stopped local filmmakers from coming up with gems though these films cannot be compared to that era when Tsai Ming-liang, Hou Hsiao-hsien, Ang Lee and Edward Yang wowed festivals overseas. This so-called renaissance period is peppered with contemporary, more uplifting stories. I call them charming.

Some of the recent Taiwanese movies that make it to my charming list:

Au Revoir Taipei (Jack Yao/Amber Kuo; 2010)

Hear Me (Eddie Peng/Ivy Chen; 2009)

Starry Starry Night (Xu Jiao/Lin Hui-min; 2011)

You Are The Apple of My Eye (Michelle Chen/Kai Ko; 2011)

Kai Ko (Ko Chen-tung), last year’s breakthrough star, stars in a new film that has the charms of the other movies I have mentioned: When a Wolf Falls in Love with a Sheep.

Of course Kai Ko plays the wolf in the movie, though in real life, he may be the sheep in his May-December love affair with Elva Hsiao. But that’s not what this post is all about. Wolf/Sheep opens this Friday and we’ll know if the sophomore work of e-biz’s latest boy toy (not only Elva’s… sorry couldn’t resist it) will be successful. You Are the Apple of My Eye was beloved across age groups and a hit overseas. Wolf/Sheep is more contemporary and is obviously geared to the young market. This is also female lead Jian Man Shu’s first movie lead role (she’s apparently been doing TV dramas).

Charming, isn’t it?

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