The Student News Site of Taipei American School




Golden Horse strikes cinema gold


golden horse

Taiwan has always been overshadowed by her larger, foreboding sister to the West. But in recent years, it seems that it has stepped out of the shadows and onto the international stage.

While it may be unassuming to the general public, cinema has been the driving force behind Taiwan’s cultural self-confidence. The annual Golden Horse Film Awards, which is now in its 50th year, is a celebration of Asian films, ranging from independent shorts to blockbuster action movies.

The Golden Horse Film Festival, which showcases both Taiwanese and foreign films old and new, is held from the beginning of the month, and culminates with the annual awards ceremony on November 23.

This year’s roster of movies seemed to trump previous years; I particularly enjoyed Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket, as well as The Spectacular Now, a sweet coming-of-age story set in the American suburbs.

The mix of classics and new films, many of which are not shown in regular cinemas in Taiwan, is what draws me into this festival year after year.

Oscar winning Taiwanese director Ang Lee, who is well known for films such as The Life of Pi and Taking Woodstock, chaired the jury of this year’s film panel. Lee said that the awards will “prevail” over the large Chinese-speaking market. Known as the “Chinese Oscars,” the award ceremony will be, as the famed director put it, a great boost for the developing industry as well as a way to share Asian cultures with the rest of the world.

The promotional poster for Ilo Ilo

Singaporean movie Ilo Ilo nabbed this year’s Best Picture award. The film, directed by Anthony Chen, tells the tale of a dysfunctional family. It also won attention by being the only Singaporean film to win an award at the Cannes Film Festival.

With the increasing success of Asian films, it won’t be long until we see them playing in theaters around the world.

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