Horror fans and devotees of Naomi Watts miffed by this week’s canceled release of Funny Games, Michael Haneke’s scene-for-scene American remake of his brutal Austrian film from 1997, will have to make do with Pathology. The good news is that it’s getting a few good notices. Like the loopy Thai flick Sick Nurses, which opened here a few weeks ago, this gory story is set in a hospital and features a cabal of nasty medicos. This time, however, it’s in Washington, where the dissolute doctors challenge each other to identify the cause of death of the latest morgue delivery — after they’ve found someone to kill. In the middle of it all is a newly arrived doctor who plays the game but remembers his Hippocratic oath before it’s too late
|Happily Ever After
Here’s another Japanese film that takes a downbeat subject (domestic violence) and turns the tone upside down and inside out. Miki Nakatani (Ringu, Silk) stars as a woman who cheerily makes the best of things while surrounded by low-life men. Yet another manga adaptation, which partly explains its surprising approach. From the director of Memories of Tomorrow, a much more sober film that impressed audiences here last year.
Poor press is presumably the reason why this is being released in Taiwan before the US. It’s based on the true story of socialite Barbara Baekeland (Julianne Moore), a woman who married into a wealthy family empire built on the plastics industry and who was killed by her mistreated son Tony (Eddie Redmayne) amid a lifestyle of opulence and emptiness. Alternately described as melodramatic and unmelodramatic by critics, the film looks like a worthy contender to dethrone Mommie Dearest as a camp classic of child abuse, notwithstanding some brave performances.
|What Happens in Vegas …
A wild night in Las Vegas ends up with two strangers (Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher) wedded and bedded. The pair’s hangovers are alleviated somewhat when they discover that one of them hit the jackpot the previous night. Cue a vicious struggle for the loot and inevitable realization that fate may not have dealt the couple an ill-planned love connection after all.
With listicles of local attractions including Costco and numerous children’s playgrounds, I was not expecting much. Opened on Jan. 31, the Taipei MRT’s Circular Line, or Yellow Line, made life in the nation’s capital even more convenient. But judging from Internet search results, it hasn’t opened up many new tourism opportunities, unsurprising as the route mostly crosses densely populated areas and industrial parks. Places like a sports stadium with rainbow colored bleachers perfect for Instagram selfies wouldn’t do it for me either, and it’s pointless to list attractions at the connecting stops that have existed for years. As a history nerd, there
June 1 to June 7 In February 1988, Robert Wu (吳清友) set aside NT$17.5 million to purchase two Henry Moore sculptures from London’s Marlborough Gallery. He never bought the pieces. Feeling slighted that the gallery manager initially looked down on him as a Taiwanese, he decided that night to use the money to open his own art space back home. “Without selling any art, that money could support the gallery for four years. If I feature one artist per month, that provides a stage for at least 100 artists,” Wu said in the book Eslite Time (誠品時光) by Lin Ching-yi (林靜宜).
The Lunar New Year vacation had just ended when Alice Wu began to worry about COVID-19. Not long after, on Feb. 10, Wu — who didn’t give her Chinese name to speak freely for this story — received the first of several coronavirus-related sales messages through her smartphone. The pitch came from an acquaintance who represents Amway, an American multi-level marketing (MLM) company that’s been active in Taiwan since 1982. “I’ve only met her once, and I’ve never bought from her. If her sister wasn’t one of my daughter’s teachers, I’d probably block her,” says Wu, who lives in Taichung. MLM, sometimes
It’s difficult to watch Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich, a four-hour Netflix series on the now-deceased convicted sex offender without a choking sense of outrage. How many girls had to suffer to get attention? How perversely twisted is the American justice system that a Gatsby-esque billionaire, friends with such powerful figures as Bill Clinton , Prince Andrew and Donald Trump, a longstanding donor to Harvard and MIT, could buy his way out of an almost certain life sentence for child sex abuse and trafficking? Filthy Rich arrives, of course, less than a year after Epstein, 66, died, officially by suicide, in a New