LFF: 10 + 10 (Shi jia shi)
Portmanteau movies popped up right across East Asia this year, and this Taiwanese anthology is one of the best. Twenty of the island’s top directors contribute five-minute vignettes on the uniqueness of their homeland. They rise to the occasion with a varied range of mini-documentaries, mini-fictions and mini-drama docs, some of them touching, many darkly amusing. Stand-outs include a jet-black sci-fi comedy about the erasure of bad memories from Chen Yu-Hsun, a surreal memory of the Chinese civil war on Kinmen Island from Chang Tso-Chi, a cautionary account of vigilante justice from Chung Mong-Hong and an exquisite reminiscence of the good old days from Hou Hsiao-Hsien. Only two women directors (Wang Shaudi and Sylvia Chang), but many of the men empathise with women’s points-of-view; there’s also space for aboriginal pride, sardonic humour, political satire and the odd spark of teenage rebellion. But no hint of nationalist bluster. (Tony Rayns)
Dir. Hou Hsiao-Hsien and 19 others, Taiwan 2011, 114min.
Cast: Shu Qi, Kuei Lun-Mei, Lin Ching-Tai.
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