Here's a stylish Korean "horror romance" set in 1942, a time of enough horrors even without the predicament about to beset a young doctor, whose care for the young survivor of a car crash and fascination with the beauty of a dead woman from the accident lead to very strange things. It's a well-received and lush production that dares to engage the emotions and move on from Asian horror cliches.
Heartthrob Takuya Kimura reprises his role as a semi-rebellious prosecutor in this feature that was hugely successful in Japan, just like the 2001 TV series of the same name. Kimura is Kohei Kuryu, a Tokyo legal officer who teams up with his band of colleagues to battle graft in the upper branches of the political tree.
Albert Dupontel (Irreversible) stars as a youngish, more idealistic president of France, a man under increasing professional and personal pressure as his daughter interacts with a young man the president then brings into his inner sanctum. Dirty secrets are uncovered as the president's power unravels.
Daipaidong Film Festival
It's bizarre to have a two-week festival of Hong Kong-China coproductions just as the Golden Horse Festival is saddling up. Still, here it is: six films fusing Chinese and Hong Kong talent that would otherwise struggle for attention. Sweet Revenge (寄生人) is a drama from Taiwanese director Ho Ping (何平). Half Twin (半邊靈) is a suspense flick. The Tokyo Trial (東京審判) sets personal drama against the trial of Japanese officials after World War II. A West Lake Moment (抹茶之戀味) is a love story and acclaimed director Ho Yim's (嚴浩) most recent film. In Curiosity Kills the Cat (好奇害死貓), Carina Lau (劉嘉玲) gets into trouble when her interest in neighborly affairs goes too far. Lastly, The Treatment (刮痧) is about a Chinese man in the US accused of child abuse after using traditional medicine to treat his grandson. The name of the festival refers to a disappearing form of Hong Kong streetside food stall.
We can't resist a plug for this rarely seen 2005 drama about handicapped American sportsmen. Presented by Taiwanese support groups for the physically challenged, The Goal is about two men whose careers are devastated by injury. They then join a wheelchair rugby team and restore their pride. It screens at Taipei City Hall at 1:30pm on Saturday, Dec. 1, but you must book next week by calling (03) 329-9692.
South Taiwan Film and Video Festival (南方影展)
This festival has an international lineup of more than 90 films and will visit several cities. Themes of love and imagination are explored across a varied list of productions that includes The Witnesses by Andre Techine, Quinceanera, 10 Nights of Dreams and more than 20 local productions. For more information, visit cfma.tnnua.edu.tw/south2007. For ticket information, see tickets.books.com.tw/ad/html/movie0106.asp.