TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Professor Chris Berry of King’s College London, who promotes Taiwanese-language films in Europe, told CNA in an interview that Lithuanian audiences have responded particularly well to films compared to other European audiences. .
Of all the stops he made during his screening tour, it was only in Lithuania that the films were shown in a commercial theater, Berry added.
While the first two screenings in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius attracted less than 30 people, in the last three screenings the theater was almost full. Some people attended several screenings and then came back with friends.
Five titles, restored as part of the Taiwan Cinema Digital Restoration Project (TCDRP), were screened in Vilnius: “Tarzan and the Treasure” (泰山 與 寶藏), “May 13th, Night Of Sorrow” (五月 十三 傷心 夜), “Six Suspects” (六個 嫌疑犯), “Folish Bride, Naive Bride” (三八 新娘 憨 子婿) and “The Rice Dumpling Vendors” (燒 肉粽). Berry, who co-wrote the introductions and hosted panel discussions for the films with his partner, said Lithuanian audiences understand and connect to the film scripts very easily and quickly.
Berry is a famous Chinese language film specialist and was a judge for the 2017 Golden Horse Film Festival finals. He began studying New Taiwanese cinema in the 1980s, when Taiwanese productions gained international attention. as arthouse films.
This led him to discover many older commercial Taiwanese-language films which he considered dynamic, daring and innovative.
According to Berry, the filmmakers then had to be very creative due to extremely limited budgets, and they had no choice but to shoot on location. This not only made the films innovative, but also gave overseas audiences an authentic glimpse into life in Taiwan under martial law.
The efforts of the Taiwan Film and Audiovisual Institute, as well as the TCDRP, which restored lost films and added subtitles, made screenings of Taiwanese films possible across Europe, said Berry.