scene from Reflections: actors Nikki Shie (謝欣穎) as Mi and Oy Gin (歐陽靖) as Jing (photo from sinomovie.com/reflections)
Reflections (愛麗絲的鏡子) is a Taiwanese film directed by Yao Hung-i (姚宏易). The story is about a lesbian relationship broken apart by the appearance of a man in the two women's lives. The story may sound familiar. It is very similar to the third part of Three Times (最好的時光) directed by Hou Hsiao-hsien (侯孝賢). Reflections is in fact based on the same story and its director has previously worked as a cinematographer for Hou.
Many of the key images and scenes that appear in Three Times are repeated in Reflections. But it would be unfair to dismiss this film as just an extended version of Hou's earlier work. It has more time to develop the characters and it is beautifully shot. Taipei is highlighted in its most perfect and unglamourous grayness.
Each character takes a turn at being explored by the camera. There is very little outward expression of feelings and suprisingly few moments of high drama. However, a tension builds through the film until it reaches a surprising conclusion.
Reflections is the best Taiwanese movie I have seen lately. It shows there is definite film making talent here. I really hope it can be applied to making more films and that Taiwanese people can support and encourage a bigger film industry to develop here.
SPOT Taipei Film House (台北之家)