Films that portray life in Taiwan


I saw a film called “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” last night, and was pissing myself with laughter - because it is funny, but mainly because it reminds me so much of my relationships with my taiwanese in-laws.

For example, all the following have happened to me (and I guess to most the people who have a Taiwanese wife/hubby/gf/bf), and has also happened in the aforementioned film:

  1. The mother in law says “eat, eat” even when the new son in law says that he has just eaten (happens to me all the time…)

  2. The men in laws threaten the new son in law not to upset the wife (happened to me also - my father in law and his business partner threatened to cut off my head if I upset my new wife - I think they said it is a half fun-half serious, tongue in cheek kind of way)

  3. The son is spoilt rotten by the mum (again, have noticed that Taiwanese men do seem to be, in general, spoilt by their mothers, and can do no wrong in their eyes)

  4. Very much family-oriented (seems to be the case for my in-laws)

  5. Good saying from the film - “the man is the head, but the woman is the neck, and can therefore turn the head in any direction that she wishes” (I think this could be the case, i.e. the man in public is seem as the head, but in doors, things are different…or is that just my marriage?)

  6. Big generation gap (have noticed that the younger generation is soooo much different to the older generation in Taiwan - different aspirations, different jobs, etc…)

Plus there are some more comparisons that are in this film that can be directly linked back to life and realtionships in Taiwan, that I cannot currently remember. Take a look at this film, and see for yourself. Plus, it is a pretty good film - but it is more funny as you can relate to it so much even though it is based on Greek family. Maybe there is alot of similarities between the Greeks and Taiwanese?

Does anyone else think of any other films that directly or indirectly relate to any aspect of life in Taiwan?

The Godfather?
Kill Bill?
Seven (the gluttony part maybe…being forced-fed at chinese new year?)



That sounds like “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?”
But with Taiwanese in the Hephburn / Tracy roles.

I just saw 20/30/40. It is a nice mesh of three stories of women and their lives and loves, and is based in Taipei. I liked it a great deal, but dont know how true to life it is. I am a foreigner living in Tainan.

Ang Lee’s Eat Drink Man Woman.

I’m with Stewart on this one : “Eat, Drink, Man, Woman”, and its predecessor: “The Wedding Banquet”.


That movie “20something Taipei” is a classic.

For banalities regarding Taiwan’s urban life…
Tsai Ming-Liang’s The Hole is revealing, even from another culture’s view.

I LOVE the Hole. I think it’s absolutely brilliant. So winter 1996, in my book. I know the movie was filmed a couple years after that, but winter 1996-97 was about as rainy and bleak as the one depicted in the movie. Something about the green-grays in that movie that really got me. And of course the little musical numbers in between.

Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant.

Lost in Translation in some ways. Like the restaurant scene, the KTV scene.

But really? Bladerunner.

[quote]The film’s theme, the difficult quest for immortality, is supplemented by an ever-present eye motif - there are various VK eye tests, an Eye Works factory, and other symbolic references to eyes as being the window to the soul. Scott’s masterpiece also asks the veritable question: what does it mean to be truly human? One of its main posters advertised the tagline: “MAN HAS MADE HIS MATCH - NOW IT’S HIS PROBLEM.”

The film’s screenplay (originally titled Dangerous Days and Android) by Hampton Fancher, and later supplemented by David Peoples, was based on science-fiction writer Philip K. Dick’s 1968 novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Originally filmed without a monotone, explanatory voice-over in a somber, Raymond Chandler-like manner, two elements were demanded by the studio after disastrous preview test screenings:

a noirish, somber, flat-voiced narration (written by Roland Kibbe) to make the plot more accessible

a tacked-on, positive, upbeat ending (using out-takes from Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining (1980)), added to the 1982 release (of between 113-117 minutes)

Since that time, the 1992 revised ‘Director’s Cut’ (of 117 minutes) was released to mark the film’s 10th anniversary with a new digital soundtrack - it dropped Harrison Ford’s mostly redundant voice-over and restored the film’s original darker and contemplative vision. Many Blade Runner afficionados prefer the subtlety of the film’s images in the restored version rather than the slow and monotonous tone of the earlier film with voice-over. The ‘director’s cut’ also substituted a less upbeat and shorter, more ambiguous, non-Hollywood ending, and it inserted a new scene of a ‘unicorn reverie’ at the end. It also emphasized and enriched the romantic angle between Ford and a beautiful replicant played by Sean Young, and more clearly revealed that Harrison Ford’s character was an android himself.

Instead of eyes, look for Taipei’s “butthole motif”. The buttholes are everywhere.

Anyone have the Director’s cut? We should screen it at Flicka’s party palace, if so, The Source. Where they had Dingleberries last weekend.
In fact, Forumosa screenings could be in order. That would be fun! :slight_smile: Check the cult classics thread for more ideas.