Low-key French drama about a blue-collar dad who falls for his son’s teacher, a woman of high culture who nevertheless finds herself becoming a victim of her own desires. Scriptwriter and director Stephane Brize picked up a Cesar Award last year for best film adaptation of this work from a novel by Eric Holder, and he keeps the whole thing very buttoned down. The power of the film derives from the turmoil that is taking place beneath the surface and the terrible consequences for the very respectable main characters if it breaks loose. The level of restraint has the critics polarized. Despite generally acknowledged fine performances by leads Sandrine Kiberlain and Vincent Lindon, Mademoiselle Chambon might be just a tad too respectful and bloodless to attain widespread appeal.
Aliens meets The Exorcist meets Cloverfield in Spanish. This is a sequel to the highly regarded Rec, a classic of hand-held camera point-of-view filmmaking. In the original the camera in question was that of a television crew. In Rec 2 it is cameras mounted on the helmets of an elite armed response team sent into the same abandoned city block to find out what happened to the original media expedition. A clue is provided by the presence of a Catholic priest in mufti who is on hand to face down evil with the power of the divine. Things don’t go as planned and there is plenty of killing and blurry scares to keep the audience jumping, but critics agree the sequel lacks the immediacy and raw power of the original.
Twinkle, Twinkle Little Stars (一閃一閃亮晶晶)
Documentary-style feature by Lin Cheng-sheng (林正盛) who has pretty much been going down hill since his big success with Betelnut Beauty (愛你愛我, 2001). Opting for a new format might be a way of finding his way back on track, though his choice of a worthy but already somewhat shopworn topic of Asperger syndrome suggests he still has a passion for the sort of social earnestness that sunk Crusoe’s Robinson (魯賓遜漂流記, 2002) and fatally marred The Moon Also Rises (月光下，我記得, 2005). The film focuses on four children who suffer from this often debilitating condition and explores their unique vision of the world through projects such as turning their drawings into film animations. Unfortunately, good intentions don’t always make the best films.
Sept. 28 to Oct . 4 A large number of 3000-year-old slate coffins were unearthed on a hill near Nanhe Village (南和村) in Pingtung County on Sept. 30, 1985. Unfortunately, the United Daily News (聯合報) noted that they had been seriously damaged by construction, and no artifacts or human remains were found. Although the newspaper called the find a “significant discovery,” little information can be gleaned about this specific site because it’s just one of countless locations where stone sarcophagi have been unearthed across southern and eastern Taiwan, and as north as Yilan County. These stone receptacles for the dead were
Until this summer, when the idea of hiking the length of the island first occurred to me, I didn’t even know that Cijin (旗津) had been a peninsula until 1967. That’s when diggers and dredgers severed Cijin from Taiwan’s “mainland,” because the authorities wished to create a southern entrance to Kaohsiung’s fast expanding port. The island is just under 9km long, but a bit of research quickly convinced me that a south-to-north trek wasn’t a good idea. The southern third of Cijin is dominated by container-lifting cranes, warehouses and other facilities off-limits to the public. Dunhe Street (敦和街) forms the boundary between
Sitting at the bar, martini in hand, Kristin Scott Thomas rolls her eyes briefly heavenwards. And then she declares, in one of the most memorable monologues of the cult BBC drama Fleabag, that menopause is the “most wonderful fucking thing in the world. And yes, your entire pelvic floor crumbles and you get fucking hot and no one cares. But then — you’re free! No longer a slave, no longer a machine with parts. You’re just a person, in business.” When an entranced Fleabag says she has been told the whole thing is horrendous, Scott Thomas’s character responds: “It is horrendous,
As if the climbs and views and snacks and companions of cycling in Taiwan aren’t sufficient, the GPS-generation of route-planners are now using apps such as Strava and Endomondo to create works of art as they ride. One such is nicknamed the Dove Road of Sijhih (汐鴿路), a 25km ride that follows the riverside bike path from the Nangang-Neihu Bridge (南湖橋) to New Taipei City’s Sijhih District (汐止), climbs around 400m up the Sijhih-Shiding Road (汐碇路), before dropping back down past Academia Sinica to generate a very dove-like pattern. Originally called Kippanas by indigenous Ketagalan people and transliterated into Hoklo (more commonly