Your browser does not support the script in ths page, but it won't effect you reading its content,Please click here

TP_Logo
Traditional Chinese English Simplified Chinese Japanese
:::
advance search search
archive
 
 
 
 
service
E-Magazine
Related
Open new window
Updated:Apr 10 201
Online:251
You are the:37526843 Visitors.
Taiwan Panorama / Editors' Choices / Article:Can the Blockbuster Save Taiwan Film?
*
Editors' Choices
 
 
2009/12/p.032
Can the Blockbuster Save Taiwan Film?
(Teng Sue-feng/tr. by Jonathan Barnard)
Rating : appreciation  
Total votes:
3
Pictures & text
Text only
Photo explanation: About gangsters in 1980s Taiwan, Monga has been attracting the most buzz among Taiwan-produced films released in 2009.  (courtesy of Green Days Film)
About gangsters in 1980s Taiwan, Monga has been attracting the most buzz among Taiwan-produced films released in 2009. (courtesy of Green Days Film)

"When over 90% of mainland directors still don't know how to shoot commercial films, this is the last chance to enter the mainland market." That's the advice that Hong Kong executive producer Ng See-yuen gives to the Taiwan film industry.

The bad news is that the advice doesn't really help Taiwanese directors-since 95% of them can't shoot commercial films.

But the good news is that Taiwan currently has at least four films being shot with budgets of over NT$60 million. Could this represent a turning point? Perhaps Taiwan-made films will once again find themselves in the favor of mass audiences.

Yet if big-budget productions aren't targeting the greater Chinese-speaking market, then how can they recoup their investments? Do co-productions with mainland film companies provide a way for the Taiwan film industry to move from a narrower focus on the domestic market toward setting its sights abroad?

The Taiwan film industry performed better in 2008 than in any year during the previous decade. Apart from the tremendous success of Cape No. 7, which grossed NT$520 million and accounted for 65% of all box-office receipts for Taiwan-made films that year, Winds of September, Orz Boyz and other smaller films also did well, giving many people optimism about the future of film in Taiwan.

Production on Monga wrapped up at the beginning of November. The film is set in Taipei in the 1980s at a time of great ethnic strife between native Taiwanese and mainlanders who had come over with the KMT after the fall of mainland China to the communists in 1949 at the end of the Chinese civil war. It depicts the friendship of gangsters living in the Wanhua neighborhood. To increase the film's popularity, Mark Zhao, who recently won a Golden Bell award for Black & White, was cast alongside television idol Ethan Ruan. America's Warner Pictures, moreover, has given the film substantial support for distribution. Going the route more typically taken by a Western blockbuster in Taiwan, they've made 100 prints of the film for distribution here. (Typically only 40 copies are made of domestic films). Hoping to create a sensation, they plan on putting them in theaters all at once.

Television director Tsai Yueh-hsun's exquisite Black & White, whose cast was chock full of young idols, is also being turned into a film at an estimated cost of NT$150 million. And the epic blockbuster Seediq Bale that is being shot by Wei Te-sheng, the director of Cape No. 7, has attracted even more attention. The drama is something like a combination of 300, which is about a small force of Spartan warriors battling a huge army in ancient Greece, and Braveheart, which tells of the Scots defeating outside invaders. Costing about NT$500 million to shoot, Seediq Bale is a red-blooded account of Aboriginal resistance to the Japanese army.

 
 
  First First Previous Previous  Editors' Choices back to Editors' Choices
next
Last Last  
 
Rate this article : RatingRatingRatingRatingRatingRatingRating RatingRatingRatingRatingRatingRatingRating RatingRatingRatingRatingRatingRatingRating RatingRatingRatingRatingRatingRatingRating
  RatingRatingRatingRatingRatingRatingRating RatingRatingRatingRatingRatingRatingRating RatingRatingRatingRatingRatingRatingRating
We welcome comments from you on the site, whether positive or negative. Positive feedback is encouraging, while negative feedback helps us to improve the site.
   
 

This website is best viewed at a screen resolution of 800x600, and we recommend using at least Internet Explorer 6.0 or Opera 9.00
Copyright 2006 Taiwan Panorama All rights reserved.
13F, No. 15-1, Hangzhou South Road Section 1, Taipei 10050, Taiwan, ROC
Tel:(02)2392-2256 Fax:(02)2397-0655