From France, this is a series of short films that creates scenes from the childhoods of famed filmmakers. Part of the gimmick is to leave the identification of the director to the end of the piece, which means that audiences can have fun trying to tease out clues on who the child really is. Interestingly, two of the six subjects themselves made classic films about children — unfortunately, however, neither of them is Francois Truffaut, though perhaps everyone balked at reshooting scenes from The 400 Blows. Screening exclusively at the Changchun theater in Taipei.
The Magic Hour
Koki Mitani is a sometime film director from the Japanese theater who has made a small number of highly successful comedies for the big screen and TV. The Magic Hour is his latest, a screwball comedy homage that sees a nightclub boss get caught having an affair with a crime lord’s dame. To save his life, he lies about knowing the whereabouts of a mysterious man the gang is looking for, and then has an actor impersonate him. It’s all lunacy and laughs from there. Happily, fans of Mitani and this kind of film will also have the chance to see his previous movie Suite Dreams, made in 2006, which opens next week in limited release.
This Japanese manga adaptation explores the outer reaches of cute as tallish freak girl meets shortish geek boy, spending the next 100 minutes or so pretending not to adore each other. Bright colors, music, basketball, larger than life performances, exaggerated facial expressions — just about enough to impress kids on their first date movie. This was made three years ago, which suggests local distributors are beginning to trawl through back catalogs of manga movies for stuff to throw at the market. Also known as Love.com.
The Librarian: Return to King Solomon’s Mines
From tomorrow, the Baixue theater in Ximending hosts another bunch of tie-in screenings of HiNet hiChannel product, this time an Indiana Jones-style TV movie sequel from 2006. Noah Wyle plays Flynn Carsen, curator of historical treasures and compulsive adventurer, who must rush to the title location to stop bad guys from gaining a magical book that can grant them power over time and space. Also stars Bob Newhart and Olympia Dukakis. A third in the series, the delicately titled The Librarian: The Curse of the Judas Chalice, was made this year. Parts 2 and 3 were directed by Jonathan Frakes, better known as Commander Riker in Star Trek: The Next Generation.