Watch Flowers of Taipei: Taiwan New Cinema
- 1 hr 49 min
Flowers of Taipei: Taiwan New Cinema from 2014 is a fascinating documentary that explores the emergence of the New Taiwan Cinema movement that took place in the 1980s. Directed by Chinlin Hsieh, the film includes interviews with some of the most influential filmmakers of the time, including Hou Hsiao-hsien, Edward Yang, and Tsai Ming-liang, whose works were instrumental in shaping the movement. The documentary also features insightful commentary from prominent figures in the film industry, such as Japanese actor Tadanobu Asano and French film critic and director Olivier Assayas.
Flowers of Taipei provides a comprehensive look at the political and cultural climate in Taiwan during the 1980s, which fueled the rise of the New Taiwan Cinema movement. Through interviews with the directors and actors, the documentary delves into the themes and styles that characterized this innovative period of Taiwanese cinema.
One of the key issues addressed in the film is the tension between Taiwanese identity and the legacy of colonialism. Both Edward Yangâs Taipei Story (1985) and Hou Hsiao-hsien's City of Sadness (1989) were deeply influenced by this ongoing struggle, exploring themes of alienation, displacement, and loss.
The documentary also sheds light on the different styles and techniques employed by directors within the movement. Tsai Ming-liang, for instance, often used long, static shots to create a heightened sense of tension and unease, while Hou Hsiao-hsien favored a more naturalistic approach that emphasized the rhythms and textures of everyday life.
Flowers of Taipei also examines the impact of the New Taiwan Cinema movement on the global film industry. Hou Hsiao-hsienâs A City of Sadness, which deals with the 1947 massacre of thousands of civilians by the Kuomintang army, won the Golden Lion at the 1989 Venice Film Festival, bringing unprecedented attention to Taiwanese cinema. Other directors, such as Ang Lee (Eat Drink Man Woman, 1994), continued to build on the legacy of the movement, winning acclaim and awards around the world.
Throughout the film, Chinlin Hsieh shows a deep appreciation for the works of the New Taiwan Cinema movement, illustrating how these films were not only aesthetically groundbreaking but also socially and politically engaged. Interviewees such as Tadanobu Asano and Olivier Assayas demonstrate the lasting impact that these works have had on the international film community.
In terms of production quality, Flowers of Taipei is a visually stunning film, featuring beautifully composed shots of the city and the landscape of Taiwan. The documentary is also meticulously researched, with archival footage and interviews carefully selected to create a nuanced and comprehensive portrait of the New Taiwan Cinema movement.
Overall, Flowers of Taipei is a captivating and enlightening documentary that offers a window into an important period of cinema history. Under the deft guidance of Chinlin Hsieh, viewers are taken on a journey through the cultural and political complexities of Taiwan in the 1980s, experiencing the artistic achievements of the New Taiwan Cinema movement firsthand.
Flowers of Taipei: Taiwan New Cinema is a 2015 documentary with a runtime of 1 hour and 49 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.8.