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Monday, October 05, 2015

Busan International Film Festival 2015 Day 2 recap: Experiencing the past, present and future of Taiwanese cinema

Oct 3, Ying Xian (producer) and I were invited to eFM 90.5, Busan's one and only English radio station, to talk about RETURN OF NOSTALGIA. Ming Jin was only going to arrive a day after, so we had to handle promotional duties :)

Whoa, I was on a radio show in Busan! We are talking about Woo Ming Jin's RETURN TO NOSTALGIA, which is the only Malaysian film screening in Busan Film Fest this year!
Posted by Edmund Yeo on Friday, October 2, 2015

Right after that, I got to catch the restored print of Edward Yang's monumental masterpiece BRIGHTER SUMMER DAY.

I didn't expect this but I finally managed to catch Edward Yang's masterpiece BRIGHTER SUMMER DAY on the big screen just...
Posted by Edmund Yeo on Saturday, October 3, 2015

Yes, I was absolutely excited to catch the film in its full glory, after having already watched it a few times in low-res. So many details missed. Prior to this screening, I already believed that BRIGHTER SUMMER DAY is one of the greatest films of all time, yet improbably, the big screen made me love the film even more. Now I will share the obligatory film excerpts.

The cast and crew reunion during a 2011 screening of this restored print. (Mandarin only)

A 45-minute video review of the film.

When I left the cinema and continued walking, I saw Hou Hsiao-Hsien (and former Busan Film Fest president Kim Dong Ho) giving a talk about THE ASSASSIN. I hung out for a while to watch, the film was discussed about in more detail than the session from the night before.

In a daze after watching Edward Yang's BRIGHTER SUMMER DAY on the big screen for the very first time. Exited the Busan Cinema Center and see Hou Hsiao-Hsien talking about THE ASSASSIN.
Posted by Edmund Yeo on Saturday, October 3, 2015

At night, during the Taipei Night, as usual, it was a glamorous affair where the Taiwanese representatives (directors + cast) of the year would be presented onstage.

I managed to take a photo with the young and talented actress Vivian Sung 宋芸樺, who was great in her debut film CAFE, WAITING, LOVE 等一個人咖啡 and even greater in OUR TIMES 我的少女时代, this year's biggest Taiwanese film.

(As I am writing this, three days after the Taipei Night and seeing BRIGHTER SUMMER DAY, I have just came back from the screening of OUR TIMES, the film was screened at the outdoor theater of the Busan Cinema Center, with a capacity of 4000 people. A crowd-pleasing film that elicited massive laughters and (lots of) tears at the same time. It was a remarkable experience, and I'm not surprised that Vivian Sung received a Golden Horse nomination for Best Lead Actress. However, her co-lead Darren Wang is quite fabulous too, matching her in terms of comedic chops and doing pretty well in the emotional stuff towards the end of the film. It's an entertaining film that is somehow elevated by its lead performances.)

Taiwanese films are full of surprises, from past and present, they have given us a lot of great cinematic gems. And these days, some of their commercial fare had been so well-executed, it's impossible not to be excited about what more do they have to offer. I'm constantly in awe.

After spending the day catching Edward Yang's A Brighter Summer Day, watching the second half of Hou Hsiao-Hsien's talk...
Posted by Edmund Yeo on Saturday, October 3, 2015

More videos of that day.