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10 + 10

Shi jia shi

Twenty of the best directors in Taiwan (including Hou Hsiao-hsien, who masterminded the project) contribute mini-dramas and mini-docs to a wry anthology on what makes the island unique.

Even if a screening is sold out, tickets are often available 30 minutes before the start of the film at the box office at each venue.

10 + 10
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  • Director Hou Hsiao-Hsien and 19 others
  • Producer Wen Tien-Hsiang
  • Screenwriter Hou Hsiao-Hsien and many others
  • With Shu Qi, Kuei Lun-Mei, Lin Ching-Tai
  • Taiwan 2011
  • 114 mins
  • Sales Huayi Brothers International

Portmanteau movies popped up right across East Asia this year, and this Taiwanese anthology is one of the best. Twenty of the island’s top directors contribute five-minute vignettes on the uniqueness of their homeland. They rise to the occasion with a varied range of mini-documentaries, mini-fictions and mini-drama docs, some of them touching, many darkly amusing. Stand-outs include a jet-black sci-fi comedy about the erasure of bad memories from Chen Yu-Hsun, a surreal memory of the Chinese civil war on Kinmen Island from Chang Tso-Chi, a cautionary account of vigilante justice from Chung Mong-Hong and an exquisite reminiscence of the good old days from Hou Hsiao-Hsien. Only two women directors (Wang Shaudi and Sylvia Chang), but many of the men empathise with women’s points-of-view; there’s also space for aboriginal pride, sardonic humour, political satire and the odd spark of teenage rebellion. But no hint of nationalist bluster.

Tony Rayns

Read the Time Out review.

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