A Breath From the Bottom 狀況排除 (Chan, 2012), a 42 minute, black and white film was first on the bill. The film, seemingly inspired by -- or a reflection of -- current political demonstrations occurring in Taiwan, depicts a father participating in an anti-government protest and the conflict that results when one of the police officers monitoring the event is his son. A Breath from the Bottom was an Official Selection of the 2013 International Film Festival Rotterdam, and winner of Best Director at the 2013 Taipei Film Festival.
Forever Love 阿嬤的夢中情人 (Aozaru Shiao, Toyoharu Kitamura, 2013) was the crowd-pleasing second film in the set. Co-director and actor Toyoharu Kitamura arrived from Taiwan to participate in the event, answer questions in a Q and A session after the film, and take pictures with attendees afterwards.
Co-director and actor Toyoharu Kitamura (left) discusses his film Forever Love.
While not one of the film's biggest fans, I enjoyed the way Forever Love uses humor to depict the golden age of Taiwanese film-making (taiyu pian) in Taiwan in the late 1960s, a time when (as the film suggests) free spirits pursued their love of film with few inhibitions. The director mentioned that he wanted the film cause his audience to laugh, but also to cry -- and based on a show of hands during the Q and A session, when audience members admitted they were moved by the film -- it seems that the director accomplished his goal.
As stated on the Taiwan Film Showcase website the event was: "co-presented by the UCSD Chuan Lyu Endowed Chair for Taiwan Studies and the UCSD Taiwan Studies Lecture Series, with additional sponsorship from the Taiwan Ministry of Culture and the Taiwan Academy of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Los Angeles."