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Asian Road Movies for summer at Five Flavours at Home!

08 July 2021
Pop Aye, dir. Kirsten Tan

A long cruise up the river Yangtze, the neon-lit alleys of Bangkok, Japanese peach orchards, and the rocky roads of the Himalayas. The summer program at the Five Flavours at Home VOD is comprised of seven unique films that let you discover faraway Asian trails and the protagonists wandering through them in search of a life change.

The program is be available from July 8 till September 1. All films are introduced by Five Flavours experts. Passes and Single Accesses are already on sale!

Road movies are a film genre in which traveling though wilderness and unexpected landscapes is usually accompanied by an internal, emotional or spiritual journey. In case of the films from the Five Flavours program, it will also be a journey through the complex history of China, Macau, Thailand, or Laos, wandering from the cities to the province and back again, escaping social expectations and delving deep into the hidden dreams.

Watch Asian road movies

The program includes films by renown masters, such as a the legendary action cinema auteur, Johnny To, the creator of unique Buddhist feature films, Khyentse Norbu, or cinematographer and director Chung Mong-hong, masterfully extracting the beauty of the vast Taiwanese landscapes. We will also see a refined image of the Chinese reality created by the Beijing Film Academy lecturer, Yang Chao, and an insightful sketch of the multicultural Thailand, drawn by one of the most interesting independent Japanese filmmakers, Katsuya Tomita. Yuki Tanada, who specializes in original portraits of women, takes us on a voyage of youthful rebellion, and the Singapore native Kristen Tan lets us embark on a journey with a protagonist facing a midlife crisis (and one melancholic elephant).

Program
One Million Yen Girl

dir. Yuki Tanada, Japan 2008

Suzuko’s life is a never-ending struggle – to get over an existential impasse and away from unfortunate relationships, she embarks on a spontaneous journey. In search of odd jobs, she travels through provincial Japan, from seasides to mountain ridges, from city suburbs to desolate villages. On the road, the subtle, yet incredibly determined heroine discovers her unexpected talents and really gets to know the places she visits, which allows her to confront her emotions and the expectations that tradition and modernity have of the young generation.

Bangkok Nites

dir. Katsuya Tomita, Japan, Laos, Thailand, France 2016

Bangkok, the entertainment district, hundreds of erotic agencies catering to Japanese tourists. Luck, who works at one of them, accidentally bumps into her former lover Ozawa. Their paths keep crossing, but they can’t really meet – just like the many narrations entwining the contradictory Thai reality. Expats looking for a cheap life in an exotic scenery, Laotian kids running through the grass filling bomb craters, ambitious girls looking for a better tomorrow for themselves and their loved ones – everyone has a place here, even though no one really knows what their future holds. One of the protagonists of the film is also the city, photographed in a very sensual way. Along with other locations, it creates a visual mosaic encompassing hundreds of stories woven together in the reality of this fascinating country.

Travellers and Magicians

dir. Khyentse Norbu, Bhutan 2003

All the vigorous Dondup dreams about is getting out of his cozy village and traveling to an exciting land, flickering with all the colors of the rainbow on pictures and in films – to America. But before he gets on a plane, he has a long way to go through the winding Himalayan roads. His journey creates a colorful story of a changing country, whose paths are still traveled by experienced shepherds, all manners of tramps looking for their place in the world, and storytellers, gladly sharing tales of faraway lands and times.

Pop Aye

dir. Kirsten Tan, Thailand, Singapore 2017

Thana is an architect for whom building high rises is much easier than building relationships. But now his best design is about to be torn down to make way for an even shinier, slimmer skyscraper. Meanwhile, the elephant he meets in the street of the busy city turns out to be his childhood friend. The majestic animal, spontaneously bought off its previous owner, becomes Thana’s companion in a bizarre return to his home village – a nostalgic, bitter, yet endearing journey.

Crosscurrent

dir. Yang Chao, China 2016

Chun, the captain of a small transport ship sailing up the Yangtze, finds an old notebook filled with poems by someone who had made the same journey decades before. The rhythm of the slow voyage through the biggest Chinese waterway is set by the poetic verses and the half-chance meetings with a mysterious woman who takes a slightly different shape in every port. The winter cruise from Shanghai to the sources of the Yangtze at the Tibetan Plateau becomes not just an individual, existential journey of the protagonist, but also a meditation on the history of the country undergoing radical, irreversible changes, yet still immersed in the past, rediscovering its ancient history.

Godspeed

dir. Chung Mong-hong, Taiwan 2016

The helpless Na Dow finds his first decent (though not exactly legal) job. He transports mysterious packages he picks up at dawn with a taxi and delivers them to a certain storage facility at the other end of the country. But when one day, instead of the familiar taxi driver, he meets the pushy Old Xu, he will have to change the vehicle and his game plan, causing confusion among his employers and getting himself into big trouble.

"Godspeed" is a film about gangsters, but not a gangster film, a road movie without the protagonist’s journey, a comedy with tar-black, razor-cut humor. Chung Mong-hong is the master of the subversive use of conventions, which he stretches, frizzles and condenses like a cinematic master of molecular gastronomy. The brilliant dialogues are complemented with long minutes of significant silence, brutality and melancholy, tension and sarcastic humor all meet and are enclosed in hypnotically beautiful frames.

Exiled

dir. Johnnie To, Hong Kong 2006

1998, the former Portuguese colony, Macau, is about to be handed over to China. Two teams of assassins appear at the doorstep of their former colleague, ex-gangster Wo. One team is there to kill him, the other to not let that happen. Shot in warm colors, "Exiled" is a gangster film with a soul of a western, an homage to and continuation of films by Leone and Peckinpah. Johnnie To brings together his favorite acting team to tell a classic story of honor, revenge, and a true male friendship. Each action sequence is set in a unique scenery and provides a breathtaking spectacle, a pure, distilled cinematic experience.

 

How to watch?

The films are available at piecsmakow.pl/wdomu from Thursday, July 8, 10 a.m. till Wednesday, September 1, 11.59 p.m.

All films are shown with Polish and English subtitles. They films are only available at the Polish territory. Each film is introduced by a Five Flavours expert.

For answers to FAQs about film screenings and the platform check the how to watch page.

Prices:
  • Pass for the Asian Road Movies program (7 films) – 70 PLN
  • Single Access to a film from the program – 20 PLN
  • Single Access to a film from the Permanent Library – 15 PLN
Buy Passes and Single Accesses

 

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