Red Lotus Society
A thrilling and multifaceted 1994 Taiwanese feature by theater director Stan Lai about both vaulting–the Chinese martial art of leaping enormous distances–and contemporary Taipei. The mysterious persistence of the past in the present combines with Lai’s visually impressive style–along with the work of Chris Doyle, the key cinematographer of the Taiwanese and Hong Kong new wave–combine to make this one of the best recent Taiwanese features I’ve seen. With Ying Zhaode, Chen Wenming, Nai Weixun, and Li Tongcun. Film Center, Art Institute, Columbus Drive at Jackson, Saturday, August 3, 3:30, and Sunday, August 4, 4:00, 443-3737.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Photo from Red Lotus Society.
Wu Nien-jen, a key screenwriter of the Taiwanese new wave, makes an impressive directorial debut in this 1994 autobiographical feature about a family in a mining town during the Japanese occupation. The existential identity crises of many who lived through this occupation remains a vivid part of Taiwanese culture, and this is one of the few recent Taiwanese films that confronts this issue directly. (JR)