Vignettes of a day in Taipei

At the beginning of the screening of Taipei 24H (台北異想) there was an ad featuring Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin promoting Taipei City as a site for film production. Hau introduces some locations in the city before ending the ad by announcing an NT$2.5 million dollar subsidy for film makers making films in Taipei through the Taipei Film Commission.

I am not sure if there was a direct connection between the ad and Taipei 24H, which was produced by PTS (公共電視). However, Taipei 24H was also something of a showcase for Taipei as it is seen by local film makers. It also highlighted a diverse range of talents and ideas.

Taipei 24H is made up of eight short films, each eleven minutes long, set in a different time segment of the day. It begins with the 6:00 to 9:00am segment titled “Share the Morning” (晨之美) directed by Cheng Feng-feng (鄭芬芬). It is about some children on their way to school who find a cat up a tree and it ends with humorous coda.

The next segment, “Just a little run” (那個夏天的小出走), set between 9:00 and 12:00 directed by Niu Cheng-tse (紐承澤) tells the story of two young teenage runaways. This worked well and made good use of the talents of two young actors (Lee Kuan-yi (李冠毅) also starred in Orz Boyz).

At midday director Debbie  Hsu (許榕容) steams things up in “Summer Heat” (午熱) about a lunch time tryst between two office workers that doesn’t turn out quite the way they hoped. Themes of love and sex continue in the afternoon with “Save the Lover” (舊。情人) directed by Cheng Hsiao-tse (程孝澤), but again things are not what they seem.

Taipei 24H segued into the evening with “Smoke” (煙) directed by Lee Chi-Yuarn (李啟源). It focuses on an encounter between father and daughter and although it lacks dialogue it doesn’t fail to make an impact. This film was also entered in the short films section of the Taipei Awards.

DJ Chen’s (陳映蓉) “Dream Walker” (走蒙人) took Taipei into the night with some surreal MRT scenes. During the Q&A at the end of the film it was revealed that the MRT scenes in this film were shot by stealth. “Owl Service” (末班車) directed by An Je-yi (安哲毅) was another film about a father-daughter relationship.

The final segment takes place at 4:00am in a coffee shop. Lee Kang-shang (李康生) directs his mentor Tsai Ming-liang (蔡明亮) who makes a rare on screen appearance. The film is set in Lu Yi-Ching’s (陸弈靜) coffee shop and is a tribute to dancer Luo Man-fei (羅曼菲) who passed away in 2006.

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At the end of the screening Lu and Tsai gave away samples of coffee for the people who had just watched the film.

Taipei 24H contained a variety of film making styles and the concept worked well. Even though each film was self-contained, together they created something that contributed to the whole.