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July 10 - July 12

The Films of Lin Cheng-sheng

Contemporary Taiwanese Cinema is often considered in two distinct movements.  The First Wave includes directors such as Hou Hsiao-Hsien and Edward Yang, whose rich works evoked the naturalistic style of Italian Neorealism. In the 1990s, a second wave of filmmakers emerged including Tsai Ming-liang, Tso Chi-chang and Ang Lee who offer less nostalgic, more varied sketches of Taiwanese life. 

Although he came to filmmaking later in life, Lin Cheng-sheng is often associated with this second generation. Lin was born in 1959 in Taitung, Taiwan. After working for eleven years as a baker, he attended his first filmmaking workshop in 1984.  In collaboration with his wife, screenwriter Ko Su-ching, Lin produced three documentary films before moving on to his first narrative feature. A Drifting Life was awarded a Silver Medal in the Young Cinema Competition at the Tokyo International Film Festival and received special mention at the Cannes Film Festival. His second film, Murmur of Youth, was screened during Director's Week at the Cannes Film Festival and established his presence on the international film festival circuit. 

This program is co-presented with the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office.

July 10 (Tuesday) 7 pm

A Drifting Life

Directed by Lin Cheng-sheng
Taiwan 1996, 35mm, color, 123 min.
With Lee Kang-sheng, Vicky Wei, Grace Chen

After his wife dies during childbirth, Ku-cheng (Lee) leaves his
children behind in their rural village while he finds work on a construction site in the city. He develops a relationship with a widow but despite their intimacy, he refuses to remarry. Lin’s moving, mutli-generational debut feature is anchored by a strong performance from Tsai Ming-liang alter ego Lee Kang-sheng.

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July 11 (Wednesday) 7 pm

Murmur of Youth

Directed by Lin Cheng-sheng
Taiwan 1997, 35mm, color, 106 min.
With René Liu, Tseng Jing, Tsai Chin-hsin
Mandarin with English subtitles

Two teenage girls from opposite sides of town work together as cashiers at a movie theater. One lives with her wealthy but distant parents in a Taipei high-rise while the other lives in an older rundown house where her grandmother provides moral support. They become close friends and eventually lovers, sharing intimate details about their lives that cannot be revealed to their respective families.


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July 11 (Wednesday) 9 pm

Sweet Degeneration

Directed by Lin Cheng-sheng
Taiwan 1998, 35mm, color, 118 min.
With Chen Shiang-chyi, Lee Kang-sheng, Chen Shi-huang
Mandarin with English subtitles

Lee Kang-sheng stars as Chun-sheng, a directionless young man who returns from military service troubled by his deep emotional attachment to his sister. He steals money from his father and travels to Taipei where he falls in love with a prostitute who ultimately challenges the fragile relationship between the two siblings. Lin drew on his own life story in constructing the character of the wayward son who dreams of a better life as a musician. 

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July 12 (Thursday) 7:30 pm

The Moon Also Rises

Directed by Lin Cheng-sheng, Appearing in Person
with Actress Lin Jia-Yu
Taiwan 2005, 35mm, color, 113 min.
With Lin Jia-Yu, Yang Kuei-mei
Hokkien, Mandarin and Japanese with English subtitles

Set in the seaside town of Taidong in the early 1960s, The Moon Also Rises follows the lives of a deeply religious divorcée and her schoolteacher daughter, who wishes to marry her cousin. The film was adapted from a popular story by writer Li Ang and earned actress Yang Kuei-mei a Golden Horse Award.

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