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Taiwanese masterpieces "Millennium Mambo" and "Goodbye, Dragon Inn" at Five Flavours!

11 October 2023

This year's Special Screenings section features two classics directed by the masters of Taiwanese cinema – Tsai Ming-liang and Hou Hsiao-hsien. The screenings of films, restored in 4K, will be a nostalgic trip down the memory lane to the magic tales that have already earned an indisputable cult status and entered the canon of Asian cinema.

The Special Screenings of Taiwanese classics are co-financed by the Ministry of Culture Taiwan in cooperation with the Taipei Representative Office in Poland.

The process of digital restoration allows festivals to return to classic titles and bring them back to audiences to revisit and reevaluate through the lens of time passed. The feeling that the world is changing and that cinema follows in its steps will be one of the key emotions accompanying the screenings.

Tsai Ming-liang's "Goodbye, Dragon Inn" is not just a tribute to King Hu, whose retrospective is one of this year's Festival highlights, but also a symbolic goodbye to the golden era of the classic wuxia films that have been kindling the emotions of Asian audiences for many decades. The genre gave way to new narrations and different topics, such as those portrayed in our second special screening, "Millennium Mambo." Hou Hsiao-hsien's film, featuring the iconic role of Shu Qi, is a melancholic techno portrait of a generation whose turbulent entrance into adulthood coincided with the tumultuous beginning of the new millennium.

One of the screenings of "Goodbye, Dragon Inn" will be followed by a Pełna Sala Debate Film Club meeting devoted to the cult status of the film and its links to the works of King Hu.

Both films will be available in cinemas and online.

Goodbye, Dragon Inn

dir. Tsai Ming-liang
Taiwan 2003, 82'

Tsai Ming-liang invites us to the last screening at a cult Taipei cinema that was once filled with life, but is now forgotten even by the local tramps. On a dark, rainy night, the theater returns to its former glory one last time. It closes its doors with a screening of a Taiwanese 1960s classic, King Hu's "Dragon Inn." The screening is made even more unique by the presence of actors starring in the masterpiece – they are watching the film with profound sadness, as if writing their own testaments. Memories of on and off-screen characters, frozen in time, resurface as the viewers begin to wander among the seats and through empty halls of the building.

Millennium Mambo

dir. Hou Hsiao-hsien
Taiwan 2001, 119'
[cinema + online]

In 2011, the protagonist, Vicky, is reminiscing about her life ten years before – the toxic relationships with the possessive Hao-hao, who was the reason she left school, and with Jack, involved in shady underworld dealings, whom she followed to Japan. Through the impressive, fluorescent images, the director portrays the lives of young people in Taipei who spend their time partying in popular clubs, not thinking about their future. Vicky is drifting among them, following one man after another, trying to find her place in life.

"Millennium Mambo" is a testimony to the director's fascination with youth and the gangster underworld. Hou draws the audiences in, intoxicating them with the sensual atmosphere of night clubs.

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