SOAS University of London

Centre of Taiwan Studies

TPNWCP Chen Singing Series 陳芯宜系列 (I): Social Concern 社會關懷: The Pig; The Clock; God Man Dog; Bundled; Body Talk (2-Day Screening); A Real Meal (6-Day Screening)

THIS EVENT IS ARCHIVED

Date: 24 June 2021Time: 12:00 AM

Finishes: 25 June 2021Time: 11:59 PM

Venue: Virtual Event

Type of Event: Film Screening

*As part of the 2021 Taiwan Post-New Wave Cinema Project, we kindly ask that you register to view these films through Eventbrite. (for UK email registrations only, such as: ac.uk; co.uk; org.uk; gov.uk etc.)  Alternatively, please fill in and submit this form if you are currently residing in the UK OR a student of an UK institution but do not have a UK domain email address. 

Please Note: Due to licencing regulations we are required to prioritise audiences based in the UK for these films. As such, only those who have registered with a .uk email address will be provided with screening links. Those registering with non-UK domain email addresses (e.g. gmail.com, hotmail.com, or edu.com.tw) will not receive links.

**Registration closes 11:59PM Wednesday 23rd June. Links to view these films will be sent out at 12AM BST Thursday 24th June.

Synopses

The Pig

2013|21min|Color|Short|Mandarin, Taiwanese

2014 Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia -Best Actressin Asia International Competition
2013 Cannes Film Festival- Director's Fortnight for Taipei Factory I

TPNWCP The Pig

Dawang’s home is about to be demolished. The pig he has painstakingly raised is about to become a religious offering at a Temple Fair. Meanwhile, it hasn’t rained in Taipei for ages. Dawang recalls the Buddhist fable of a benevolent king who sacrificed himself to end his city’s long drought. Dawang’s neighbor, A-Mao, a showgirl with pink hair, worries about being outcompeted by younger girls. In this parched city, two lost souls come together in a struggle for survival.

In 2013, Taipei Film Commission launched Taipei Factory I, a joint project with Cannes Directors’ Fortnight. The project brought together CHEN and Korean director, Jéro YUN for the short film, “The Pig”. The story was inspired by the demolition of Huaguang Community due to urban renewal, a controversial government decision CHEN had long protested against. At the same time, YUN’s eye painted a magical Taipei City using elegant light and shadow, composition and color. Together, CHEN and YUN create a modern urban fable of sacrifice, lost memories and abandonment.

The Clock

2011|19min|Color|Short|Mandarin

2012 Kaohsiung Film Festival – Outstanding Selection in International Short Film Competition for “The Clock”

2012 Mannheim – Heidelberg International Film Festival – Special Mention for When Yesterday Comes

TPNWCP The Clock

Unable to remember the combination to her apartment’s lock, dementia sufferer Hsia decides to go to her old neighbor, CHUANG, in the community she used to live in. CHUANG is the only remaining resident fighting against an urban renewal plan that will demolish the community. He has been taking care of Hsia and her daughter since Hsia’s husband died, while Hsia is now trapped in her 30 year-old memories like the clock that has stopped on her old bedroom wall….

Taiwan Catholic Foundation of Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementia invited four directors, CHIANG Hsiu-Chiung, Singing CHEN, HO Wi Ding and SHEN Ko-Shang, to each contribute a short film about dementia for a feature film, When Yesterday Comes (2011). CHEN juxtaposes an elderly woman’s waning memories with the demolition of old communities to explore a city gradually losing its memory. Taipei’s urban renewal plans leveled many old communities, and relocation stripped the residents of their way of life and community spirit. Against the unrelenting wave of urbanization, how can people live in a place without memories?

God Man Dog

2007|119min|Color|Narrative Feature|Mandarin

2008 Berlin International Film Festival - Tagesspiegel Readers’ Jury Award
2008 Durban International Film Festival - Best Screenplay
2007 Busan International Film Festival

God Man Dog

A car accident involving a stray dog connects unlikely characters with life-changing results. A hand model caught in an estranged middle-class marriage, tries to recover from the loss of her baby, but neither religion nor extramarital affairs can help her. A poor aboriginal couple resort to God to get rid of their alcohol problems, transport top-class peaches to the city and hope to reunite with their daughters. A one-legged truck driver collects abandoned deity statues hoping to be blessed with a new prosthetic. Some of them will face a surprising turn in life, others will be caught in new dilemmas.

This multi-character rhapsody evokes the pluralism of community, class and religion, as well as their conflicts, in contemporary Taiwan. Contrasting values permeate the film: deities are reduced to objects worshipped to gain fortune, and expensive peaches discarded after a commercial shoot are poor people’s only source of income. Diverse characters with different social positions and life experiences, are nevertheless united as wandering minds in search of spiritual redemption amid the impermanence of life.

Bundled

2000|78min|Color|Narrative Feature|Mandarin, Taiwanese

2001 Flanders International Film Festival-Ghent
2001 Fribourg International Film Festival - Prix Special, Oecumenical Award
2001 Taipei Film Festival - Best Feature Film, Best New Director

TPNWCP Bundled

A-Ming, a homeless old man, has forgotten where he came from. When he finds a camcorder at a recycling depot, he becomes captivated by its tape of a happy family and tells everyone that the family in the video is his. Whippersnapper, a former prize-winning writer, now lives on the street and spends his days sleeping and dreaming, slowly losing his grip on reality. Journalist Wen-Ping is the only one who still remembers his glorious past and tries hard to bring him back to reality. Meanwhile, after interviewing A-Ming, she believes his story, and broadcasts the video during coverage of the homeless.

Bundled is Singing CHEN’s directorial debut. Shot in a surreal style, it focuses on a group of marginalized wanderers with no identities, who inhabit the city’s dark corners. The only way they give meanings to their lives is through dreaming. CHEN has characters talk in dreams or debate with each other to reflect the dialectics of reality and fantasy and explore the imaginarium of the homeless. CHEN also infuses the film with various musical elements and has the characters convey their sense of loss and desire for belonging through singing.

Body Talk

2017|82min|Color|Taiwan

Body Talk 2

Is this my body? Who am I? As the carrier of spirit and will, how does a woman's body struggle, jostle, collide, and merge with all things other than themselves. The body seems to follow the mind as merely its shell or tool. However the body does possess memory. A tired body, an injured body, a sick body, a fat body, a visible or invisible body, a body nourishing life or a decaying and aging body... Have you looked at your own body carefully? Everything about you is buried amongst the hair, deep in your skin, down in your viscera and bowels, or within those millions of nerves. No matter whether you have forgotten about them, your body still remembers.

In this film we have interviewed up to thirty women, and all the interview clips interspersed throughout the film recessively discuss the "birth, aging and illnesses" of the body during the course of life. Through their talks, we are led into the diverse female body experience. It is akin to secretive women's talk emitting a feminine and flowing tone.

A Real Meal

2017|89min|Color|Taiwan

A Real Meal

Old age is a certain path in life. On this sometimes steep, sometimes gentle path, some deal with it quite deal in comfort while some stumble on the bumps. Do you know what it’s like to be old?

86-year-old Grandpa Tseng used to be a mountain courier when he was young. Now suffering from dementia and living on his own, he often wanders around the Shui-lian aboriginal community on bare foot. Where on earth is he going? Will he remember his way home? Meanwhile, Grandpa Wang is almost one hundred years old, in good health and loves steamed buns. He hasn’t cooked many steamed buns in recent years though. So when he craves them, he will take the bus to buy them at the market. Grandpa Qin, 88 years old, suffers from dementia as well, but he hasn’t forgotten the time he was held captive during the Korean War. Those hard times dealing with starvation are still vivid when he tries to recall them

“Meals on Wheels” is a documentary about the elderly on this path. After growing old, how do the lonely elderly pass each day? It’s also about the lives of the caregivers who accompany and assist the elderly.

The meal delivery woman, Tsai-e, drives a truck through the roads and alleys everyday, be it sunshine or rain. For more than seven years, the warm lunchboxes she has delivered to the elderly have become a part of their daily routine while also being the focus of her own everyday life. This task, somehow, has showed her that life is transitory. “One of my colleagues once delivered a lunchbox in the morning, and the grandpa said hello to her. She went back in the afternoon, but he had already passed away.” She develops close ties with these elderly people, which makes her wonder, “we will get old one day, and what it is going to be like then?”

Having a meal seems a very routine thing, but it is essential for life. “Meals on Wheels” is a film about time, food and memory. When was the last time you checked or cared if the elderly near you were having a proper meal?

Director Chen Singing

Chen Singing Profile

Director Chen Singing is a film visual artist whose works cover multiple disciplines, such as feature films, documentaries, experimental films and film scores, through which she expresses her long-term observation of contemporary society and portrays her profound depiction of people, characters and their living situations. She is also an expert in adopting the magic realism approach to highlight the absurdity of reality and society in order to highlight bigger societal issues. For her, there are no boundaries between the disciplines of drama and documentary, or reality and fiction, as they are not antonyms. They are merely aspects of media for her to explore the essence of life.

Her 2014 documentary The Walkers, took ten years to record one of the most significant Taiwanese dancing institutions, Legend Lin Dance Theatre. The film has received mush critical acclaim and was nominated for the Golden Horse Award and the Taiwan International Documentary Festival. Her 2007 film, God, Man, Dog, was selected for The Forum at the Berlin Film Festival, and subsequently awarded the Tagesspiegel Readers’ Prize for Best Film. It was nominated in three categories and screened at more than thirty film festivals including at Pusan and Fribourg. In 2000, her 16mm feature film, Bundled, won the Best Drama and Best New Director awards at the Taipei Film Festival, the Best Original Film Song at the Golden Horse Awards, the Ecumenical Jury Award and the Prix du Jury de la presse politique at the Festival International de Films de Fribourg while being screened at dozens of film festivals.

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Organiser: SOAS Centre of Taiwan Studies

Contact email: bc18@soas.ac.uk

Sponsor: Taiwan Ministry of Culture & Taiwan Film and Audiovisual Institute X Taiwan Docs X Taiwan Cinema Toolkit & Spotlight Taiwan