Fri, Feb 29, 2008 - Page 17 News List


By Martin Williams  /  STAFF REPORTER

Compiled by Martin Williams

Bangkok Love Story

This might have been called “Bangkok Crime Story” had the hitman not fallen in love with his target. Earnest gay-themed movie almost plays like an underworld Brokeback Mountain as the two young men face the consequences of their unexpected pairing. The film might find a market here if Taiwanese audiences can tolerate the privileging of longing over sexual fireworks (as evidenced by its lower censorship classification). But when are we going to be rid of train-as-phallus metaphors?

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Sky of Love

Based on a cellphone serial that was later converted into a book, this Japanese romance has a delightful schoolgirl fall in love with a hunk student with a shock of bleached hair, only for the pair to face serious challenges: the “first time,” gang rape, a predatory former girlfriend, parental folly, pregnancy and so on ... and there’s even a secret in store. Sounds like an ordeal, but Variety praised this film for its closely observed portrayal of teen intimacy — and it’s not as overbearing as it sounds. Expect lots of first dates in theaters here (and still more train-as-phallus metaphors). Japanese title: Koizora

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In Love With the Dead (塚愛)

Yet another movie with “love” in the title, which also suggests the sinister direction this Hong Kong genre-bender will take. A young man (Shawn Yue, 余文樂) supporting his cancer-stricken girlfriend (Stephy Tang, 鄧麗欣) gets it on with another woman; bizarre events follow as the unfaithful fellow’s world begins to unhinge. This is the latest entry from Hong Kong’s Pang brothers, Danny (彭發) and Oxide (彭順). The former twin, who edited the Infernal Affairs trilogy, directed this unusual effort.

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Aliens of the Deep

Director James Cameron (Aliens, The Abyss) combines his fictional interests in this 3D documentary from 2005 made in IMAX format in conjunction with NASA. Combining spectacular underwater footage with computer graphics, audiences are shown creatures along the massive Mid-Ocean Ridge that will fascinate and amuse. Screening from tomorrow at the Miramar in Dazhi (大直), Taipei City. Note: The film is 47 minutes in length; the Taiwan release has Mandarin dialogue and no subtitles.

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Happy End

Why would this downbeat South Korean tale of infidelity be getting a release after nine years? There are some impactful sex scenes, which these days are a lot less likely to be cut for Taiwanese audiences. But the real reason is Jeon Do-yeon, who won Best Actress at Cannes last year for Secret Sunshine and is starting to turn heads all over the world. In this well-received, emotionally complex drama, Jeon’s husband realizes that something is afoot — with awful consequences. Showing at the Baixue theater in Ximending.

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Hui Buh: The Castle Ghost

Here’s some family-oriented fare from Germany. The ghost Hui Buh (pronounced “boo”) is an animated character set among live action actors. Originally a series of radio plays and books dating back to 1969, this is the first film version of the franchise and is based on the first radio play, in which a king wishes to propose to his beloved in a castle that has been spooked by the title specter for 500 years. Screening at the Caesar theater in Ximending in projected DVD format.

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