L to R: Director Hung Hung, Lee Chia-ying, Lu Chia-hsin and Chang Yung-chen
Last night I attended the world premiere of a new Taiwanese film, The Wall-Passer (穿牆人), at Zhongshan Hall. The premiere was part of the Taipei Film Festival. The movie was directed by Hung Hung (鴻鴻) and will have a general release in Taiwan in November 2007.
The film is in the genre of science fiction or fantasy and I think it is quite unlike any other recent Taiwanese film. The aesthetics of the film are unique and represent a new and fresh way of looking at Taiwan. One of the locations in the first part of the film is the Museum of World Religions which provides an interesting futuristic setting. Some of the outdoor locations for the film were very interesting. The director said:
Because the story is set in the future and weaves between a "real" and imagined world, we shot much of the film in a number of out-of-the-way places in Taiwan. Among these were several wonderfully surreal locations that have, as far as I know, never appeared on the screen before. I therefore hope that this film will also provide viewers with a glimpse of some of the less familiar, albeit it no less real, facets of this diverse island country.
The story centres around a young man Tye (小鐵), played by Chang Yung-chen. He has a stone which enables him to pass through walls to another world. Tye travels to the "virtual" world in search of his love in the "real" world. The idea of passing between the two worlds is based upon Zhuangzi's (莊子) story about the dream of the butterfly.
The pace in the first half of the film was a little slow, but after that I found it very absorbing. For the three leading actors it was the first time they had acted in a film. However, they all gave very strong and consistent performances. Overall I enjoyed the film quite a lot.