Hello! Tapir

Drama, Fantasy, Animated
Mandarin, English and Czech subtitles
Director: Kethsvin Chee
Starring: Charlie Yeung, Bai Run-yin, Lu Hsueh-feng, Lee Lee-zen
Distributor: Man Man Er Co., Ltd

People in Taiwanese fishing villages live in close contact with nature. They leave their homes to spend long periods of time on fishing boats where they are exposed to the forces of nature. This becomes all too evident to Ah Keat whose father does not return from such a trip one day. What happened to him? The boy’s family give no answers and start avoiding the issue. He is still just a boy and cannot understand, anyway. But his father once told him a story about a magical tapir he had seen in the wild as a boy – a creature with the body of a pig, nose of an elephant, the ears of a horse and feet like a rhinoceros. Perhaps this mythical creature can help Ah Keat solve the mystery. Afterall, legend says it can devour nightmares.

Hello! Tapir by young director Kethsvin Chee not only uniquely combines a live-action film and animation, but it subtly depicts a world of a boy grieving and his thirst for knowledge. It sensibly brings together comic and touching moments and conveys to the audience the creative mind of a child. It stands somewhere between family dramas of Hirokazu Koreeda and adventure trips of The Rapid Arrows. Hello! Tapir is surely the only picture of its kind able to captivate all generations.

My Missing Valentine

Comedy, Romance, Fantasy
Mandarin, English and Czech subtitles
Director: Chen Yu-hsun
Starring: Liu Kuan-ting, Patty Lee
Distributor: MandarinVision

What other motion picture could more fittingly represent contemporary Taiwan cinematography than one of the most popular and successful rom-coms of the last decade. My Missing Valentine collected five prestigious Golden Horse awards last year and became a favourite of domestic audience. This subversive romantic comedy with ingenuous story line has finally made its way here!

Hsiao-chi, a woman who has always been one step ahead of others, cannot wait for Valentine’s day. She falls asleep on the eve of Valentine’s day and wakes up only to find out Valentine’s day is gone. She composes herself and immediately begins to untangle the mystery of the missing day. We should not say any more of this intricate story because it is the gradual revelation of many narrative secrets that makes the experience of this film so gratifying. This surprisingly well-thought comedy makes good use of stylized hyperbole and subversion of other classical genre tropes. It is at times fairly touching, absurdly witty and strikingly concerning.