Taiwanese films


Hard to choose but Cape No 7 is number one!

Second would be 總舖師 Zone Pro Site is an awful English name but the story and especially the character variety us awesome.

Then I luv Cafe Waiting Love. Whimsical and silly and moving and every little bit Taiwanese


Yeah, but calling that a “Taiwanese” film is quite a stretch.
Like calling Chinatown a Polish film.
Just sayin, bub.


True, but to be fair I really haven’t seen many “truly” Taiwanese movies that stuck with me.

I watched a lot of Tsai Ming Liang movies some years back but none of them really moved me. I think he drew a little too much inspiration from French New Wave for my tastes.

Then there’s Hou Hsiao Hsien. Pretty extensive filmography compared to the other auteurs. Haven’t worked through all of it, although I did watch A City of Sadness.


If you’re a bro, you’ll like Kano.


You need more modern stuff. Truly, the so called blockbusters set an annoying trend, which is why we have the endless stream of school days remembrance nostalgia films, as everyone wants to be the next You Are the Apple of my Eye/Our Times. Or mix a la school nostalgia set in a café…You get the picture. But there are some gems, originals, with real feeling. It does not necessarily have to be Cannes worthy … Or the other extreme, Zhu Geliang yuck.

For example, there is this really brain dead silly movie called My mom won’t let me get married in Japan. I love it just for the cinematography. There is a scene where the Japanese guy falls asleep in a bus, and Taipei, our gritty every day Taipei acquires a dream like quality.

I also like the ones that show a bit of the landscape…And the people

Or their struggles


I do, thanks for the suggestions. I actually kind of enjoyed the throwback trend for a bit but now it’s very played out.

I think my main issue with the current stuff is romance is really not my bag, and that is what seems to comprise the bulk of modern Taiwanese movies.


They are kind of stuck now in this mono topic of school days. But the ones that stand out against that trend do not dare well in box office. Not that any local production can even approach Cape No 7. Yet, as I said, they just go with the flow.

Couple of other sports movies worth mentioning:

Now let me introduce you to Takeshi Kaneshiro’s movies… You may know him from Red Cliff or House of Flying Daggers. His last movie shot in Taiwan was The Crossing, a sad take of the sinking of a boat making the dangerous crossing between China and Taiwan during the civil war. Not his best role, TBH. And before that, 20years ago, his last ones here ,- before he aged out and had to leave the country- were Tempting Heart with director Sylvia Chang and Turn left, turn right. This last one based on a book by Jimmy Liao which is a must read.


How about the joke you mentioned about the billboard?


Both amazing films.

There’s this movie about dealing with personal tragedy, it’s really difficult to watch because it just lays out all the wounds and raw emotions for all to watch.


Can only be Hou Hsiao-hsien’s the Puppetmaster. Or City of Sadness. Both regarded as masterpieces of world cinema.


Any suggestions for how to watch these films, now that video rental stores are mostly a thing of the past? Are there HD versions available, and do they have English subtitles?

(Two years I’ve been hoping FilmStruck would become more international, but nope, now it’s closing entirely. Streaming has fantastic virtues, but boy it’s wiping out the catalogue of available films.)


I guess streamingis OK, but with local services. Some do have English subtitles, though interestingly that is a recent developmnet.

As to video rental, there are a few, but the problem is that most DVDs produced in Taiwan do not have English subtitles at all. Hong Kong versions do. So newer movies are less likely to have English subtitles.

Regarding the old stuff, I have a collection of classics and to this day, getting City of Sadness in English is one of my quests … there are versions out there, just too expensive.

Currently, there are several boxed DVD collections for Hou Hsiao-hsien and Ang Lee´s early works, plus most classics of Taiwan´s New Wave/New Cinema directors are available with English subtitles. Not expensive.

If all else fails, may I recommend a membership to the Cinema Archives? Located in Tsingdao Road -the road in front of the Legislative Yuan- it is a treasure trove of movies. You can watch them there though.


Thanks for the suggestions. I’ve actually got a lot of DVDs available at my university library - but now I’ve become used to high-definition on a big screen.


“Small Talk”. One of the most unusual documentaries I have ever seen, and I first watched on a China Airlines flight which was really surprising given its content. The trailer doesn’t do it credit, but in delves into a very dark side of this Taiwanese family and its secrets.


Godspeed from director Mong-Hong Chung.
Funny and violent, made my night flight to EU a whole lot better.


狗蛋大兵 Naughty Boys and Soldiers

Favourite segment of the movie:


After New Wave classics by Hou Hsiao-hsien, and Tsai Ming-liang’s impressive oeuvre, I’d be hard pressed to think of a recent Taiwan film that’s made a stronger impact on me than the 2018 film The Age of Awakening (前進) on the development of the environmental movement in Taiwan. Every resident here should see this film—it will knock your socks off.



Sorry but the best Taiwanese film is Yi Yi. It’s constantly ranked as one of the best films of the 21st century.


I just watched Paradise in Service about a conscript in Kinmen in the 60s. Pretty good.