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Rating: 8.5 stars


mubi filmmaking movie about movies taiwan paris interview director tokyo actor taipei Hong Kong

Seen 1 time

Seen on: 01/26/2019

View on: IMDb | TMDb

Flowers of Taipei: Taiwan New Cinema (2014)

Directed by Hsieh Chin-Lin

Documentary | History

Most recently watched by sleestakk


With Taiwan remaining in the grip of martial law in 1982, a group of filmmakers from that country set out to establish a cultural identity through cinema and to share it with the world. This engaging documentary looks at the movement’s legacy.

Length 109 minutes


Tadao Sato | Pierre Rissient | Martín Rejtman | Tony Rayns | Gerardo Naumann | Marco Mueller | Jazmín López | Xiaodong Liu | Shozo Ichiyama | Jean-Michel Frodon | Yang Chao | Wang Bing | Jing-jing Bao | Lin Hwai-min | Tsai Ming-liang | Tadanobu Asano | Tian Zhuangzhuang | Ying Liang | Shu Kei | Kiyoshi Kurosawa | Jia Zhangke | Ai Weiwei | Hirokazu Kore-eda | Olivier Assayas | Apichatpong Weerasethakul | Hou Hsiao-hsien

Viewing Notes

Always nice when any film (doc or narrative) inspires and encourages creativity. This film has me wanting to make films or wishing I had developed that passion earlier in life. Hearing all these filmmakers talk about the influence of Taiwan New Cinema and how it affected them is deeply touching as each interview brings new insight into this film movement. More than once it’s mentioned how this type of film is challenging to watch. This has been one of the reasons why I haven’t leaned into these films despite owning a few. Only in recent years have I come around to appreciating this kind of slow and quiet style of filmmaking (not just limited to Taiwan New Cinema) as it does require patience. And it’s not for everyone, which is also noted in the film.

Additionally, this is a beautifully photographed documentary. Early on, Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul discusses what he saw in Taiwan New Cinema in particular the flat composition, lots of doorways and windows, how it was framed non-angular, a frame within a frame, he says. So naturally I notice this is how the documentary is shot and it almost becomes comical… in a good way as it moves from subject to subject. It mirrors the precise style it’s documenting. He also notes that these movies put him to sleep and that he found that to be novel and desirable for his own work.

Very heavy on Hou Hsiao-hsien as to be expected. Edward Yang too. Of course, now I want to watch all these films featured in this. The filmmakers interviewed in this are impressive. Was great to see Asano Tadanobu. Wish Shu Qi would’ve participated (I’m sure she was asked).

Easily one of my favorite filmmaking/movie documentaries that I’ve seen.


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