| The Royal

Taiwan 2011 Rated PG 115:00 Mandarin w/ English Subtitles

This omnibus presentation is an adroit collection of 20 short films, each five minutes in length, made by 10 internationally renowned filmmakers plus ten up-and-coming auteurs to commemorate the 100th anniversary and to highlight the uniqueness of Taiwan. Initiated by the Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival, the result is a series of scintillating journeys through exuberant landscapes–by train, bus and on foot–painting a comprehensive portrait of the post-New Wave(s) filmmaking milieu.

With varied approaches to form and aesthetic (ranging from arte povera to meditative mood pieces, vérité to genre-bending exercises), the omnibus is a palette of contrasts: between the shimmering warm light awash in mountain mist and the cool neon gleam off the alleyways in the city nights, the sumptuousness of ‘60s glamour and trepid war-torn mise-en-scènes, restrained black-and-white and luscious colour. It is a bridge between the old and new: young director Hou Chi-jan’s Green Island Serenade recreates a historical studio recording session by a famed Chinese singer; prolific filmmaker Wang Toon nods to both Edward Yang and the encroachment of 3D cinema culture in a story about a visit to a shrine; Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s La Belle Epoque, with Shu Qi, could almost be an epilogue to Vicky’s story from Millennium Mambo (2001). Ranging from thriller to silent cinema to dark comedy, what transpires is a dynamic crossroad between powerful personal histories and multifaceted identities