It's now the busy season for movie fans, with three film festivals this weekend in Taipei. There is the Taiwan International Ethnographic Film Festival (TIEFF), the Classic Truffaut Film Festival (經典楚浮影展) and the Kinmen Film Festival (一種凝視 -- 金門影展). \nTIEFF was praised last year for its solid selection and international scope. Migration is the theme for the second year of the festival, with 22 international films and 11 Taiwanese films chosen for screenings. The festival starts today at the Majestic Cinema. \nThe Crazy Masters by veteran French documentary maker Jean Rouch and Experimental Taiwanese by local director Wu Mi-sen (吳米森) are the two opening films. The former describes a unique religious ritual in West Africa, often practiced by rural migrants from Niger to Ghana. The latter tells the story of a 70-year-old man from China, who learns Taiwanese in order to understand his neighbors better. \nThe festival's closing films are music-related and about migration. Droppin' Lyrics by Atsushi Ucci is about young Japanese immigrants in the US. Using hip-hop music, they express their identities as Americans while looking toward their mother country. Country Road 184 by Ho Chao-ti (賀照緹) talks about the Labor Exchange band and their home town Meinung, where increasing numbers of foreign brides are arriving. \nMusic fans also should not miss two films about the power of silence. Silent Song by Aine O'Brien and Alan Grossman from the UK is about Kurdish composer Mohamed Abbas Bharam. In 1976, Bharam refused to sing for the celebration of Sadam Hussein and was forced into exile in Edinburgh. Silent Cello is the musical and personal journey of US cellist David Darling to Bunun villages in Taiwan's Nantou county. It's also a musical conversation between the cello and Bunun music. \nThe Classic Truffaut Film Festival is for those who seek movies from the 1960s. Four films by the French filmmaker Francois Truffaut will be shown at Spring Cinema from today. They are The 400 Blows (1959), an intimate look at childhood and escape, Jules et Jim (1962), a classic boy-meets-girl tale and a chance to revisit the screen charms of Jeanne Moreau. Two English Girls (1971) and Shoot the Pianist (1960) are the other films. To the surprise of the organizers tickets for the mini film festival are running out fast. \nLast but not least, for those who seek the underground spirit or just pure sensation, the Kinmen Film Festival is back in Taipei. Three independent films from the Kinmen-based Firefly Image Company (螢火蟲映像體) will be shown at the Huashan Arts District. The Kinmenese Tracks (火車在海邊游) talks about illegal boat trading between Kinmen and Xiamen -- which has been going on long before the government's "small three links" policy was introduced. \nEscaping Taipei tells the story of three women all wanting to get away from Taiepi. The mostly eagerly anticipated film, however, is Liberate the War Zones, a film that looks at nude women posing in different locations symbolic of war in Kinmen.
PHOTO COURTESY OF TIEFF
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
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
A senior communist party operative whose only previous experience in Hong Kong is a business trip two years ago; a former Guangdong mayor who oversaw the mass arrests of villagers protesting against land seizures; a former provincial party secretary best known for tearing down hundreds of churches and crosses in eastern China. These are China’s top officials charged with Hong Kong affairs, hardliners and allies of the Chinese president, Xi Jinping (習近平), who are remaking the semi-autonomous territory into a city that is directly under Beijing’s control in all but name. They remain behind the scenes, rarely making public appearances. Little is