Taiwanonymous

October 23, 2008

Movie review: Cape No. 7

Taiwanese film Cape No. 7 has become the third best-selling film in Taiwan's history, knocking out Jurassic Park: The Lost World and falling behind only two others (Titanic and Jurassic Park). Many people are watching the film multiple times at the theater and the pirated version is popular too. The bus I was riding yesterday was showing a pirated copy of the film. My coworkers watched the movie at the theater then distributed the video file. It's pretty common for them to exchange pirated movies, but this time was different. The distribution was prefaced by a message saying that we should support Taiwanese movies by watching Cape No. 7 in the theater before watching the pirated version.

My coworkers are not the only ones expressing this sentiment. All kinds of people who have never had any interest in the local film industry are ecstatic about what the success of Cape No. 7 means for local movies and are urging others to watch the film.

Some people had described the movie to me as a romance, others as a comedy. Both descriptions were correct; it's a many-threaded comedy with a serious love story as its main thread. After seeing the movie, I tried to think of some films that I could compare it to, but I couldn't think of any. The closest thing to this movie that I could think of are the locally produced idol dramas. Some of these dramas combine silly humor with bad acting and stomach-turning romance. Cape No. 7 does better than most of these dramas but not well enough to be a breakout movie for Taiwanese cinema.


A short plot summary without spoilers: The angry youth Aga has failed to become a rock star in Taipei, so he returns to his small hometown in South Taiwan near Kending. His stepfather gets him a job as a mailman, but Aga doesn't have the heart to put any effort into the job. His stepfather calls an audition for a warm-up band for a Japanese musician's concert which will be held in their small town (Hengchun). This leads a reluctant Aga to get involved in music again with a ragtag band and struggle against his angst to make good. Meanwhile a young Japanese woman struggles impotently to make sure Aga and the band are up to snuff in time for their performance.

The humor is silly, but audiences starved to see Taiwan in a commercial film have found it endearing. Two of the funniest characters are over 60 years old. The audience got a kick out of hearing them swearing in Taiwanese. The oldest character, Uncle Mao, brags about his musical skills saying "Shi*t, I'm a national treasure!" Uncle Mao probably got the most laughs, followed by the stepfather, Hong Guorong. The stepfather is the town council representative, a local boss, and he introduces himself saying "My name is Hong Guorong. My main hobbies are arguing, fighting, killing, and setting fires." This kind of line has led one of my coworkers to quote lines from the film. These two characters, along with many other elements of the films are things that are uniquely Taiwanese, and people are overjoyed to see Taiwan in a feel-good movie.


The age of these characters is significant. Unlike most idol dramas, all but one of the characters in this movie are adults. While the two leads of the movie are young, there are enough older characters in the movie so that it doesn't feel like it was make for young people only, and the movie has been relatively popular with adults in Taiwan.

The movie is partly a making-the-band film. The first song, an angsty alt-rock song sung in English, comes from Aga and his failed band. The music gets sunnier and better when the band is formed and begins practicing. There is another song in the movie performed by Shino Lin, a minor character in the movie who was formerly a pop star before she was responsible for a DUI fatality. The band's musical numbers supply the film with its greatest source of emotion, coming to a climax with their big performance. The making-the-band premise gives the opportunity for a lot of fun, and I would have been a lot happier with the movie if this element had been expanded and the love story removed. The movie clocks in at 133 minutes and it has a number of threads that go nowhere. It could have been a tighter funnier movie with a lot of editing.

The love story isn't any better than that of a TV drama. The romance begins with the boy and the girl hating each other. In the process of creating conflict and tension for the story, both behave so obnoxiously that you wonder why anyone would like either one of them. They become loathsome to watch, and when they eventually fall in love, you don't care anymore.

In addition to the plot as already summarized, the movie has a story from 1945. From begin to almost end, the movie is intercut with scenes of a Japanese man aboard a ship, reading love letters written to the woman he is leaving behind in Taiwan. This element is very "cinematic", a self-conscious attempt to give resonance to the love story in the movie and to the film as a whole. Some people love it, others find it gimmicky and poorly connected to the main plot. I read the comments of some Taiwanese moviegoers who found the love letters in the movie very touching. Personally, I thought these scenes were boring. I could barely force myself to read the subtitles. (This might have been influenced by the poor quality of the English subtitles. The subtitles in these scenes were strange. Poetic phrases would be followed by poor grammar. It's also worth noting that the subtitles in general are not very good.)


If there were a list of "Stuff Taiwanese people like", this film would be on it. I think this is mainly due to the dearth of Taiwanese commercial films. There have been very few Taiwanese films in recent years, and the ones that were made are mostly art films or idol films that are only of interest to young people. Cape No. 7 is unique, being a music-based romantic comedy with characters that appeal to the young and old, and with many elements of the film lovingly poking fun at Taiwanese identity. The film clearly can't match American films for production value. If you are just looking for a music-based romantic comedy, I would recommend a movie like "Music + Lyrics" (with Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore) long before I would recommend this movie. But if you are looking for a feel-good film with a humorous look at small-town Taiwan, then Cape No. 7 is your only bet.

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27 Comments:

  • taiwan is the only country which feels a sense of attachment to japan.

    taiwan claims to be independent from china, which following this line of logic, it leads readers to wonder "if you claim not to be related to chinese, why do u continue to keep the 1.7 million chinese historical items in your taiwan national museum?"

    in short, it leads to the conclusion that of the countries that japan invaded, chinese, korean, burmese and other south east asian countries.
    Only Taiwan remains and continues to long for a sense of japanese occupation.

    As a chinese society that taiwanese is, one wonders the amazement of taiwanese society : the only one that i know that who welcomes japanese influences despite being colonised by them.

    for your info, i am not a chinese writer nor am in anyway related towards chinese.

    i just know the facts and would be ashamed if i am any remotely related to a society who still lives in hope of being colonised.

    food for thought...

    奴台

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 13, 2008 11:12 AM  

  • A couple of questions: Why do you use the word "claims" when you say "taiwan claims to be independent from China"? Do you believe Taiwan is secretly being governed by China? Why do you believe Taiwan claims "not to be related to chinese"? I think only aborigines would claim that. Why do you say that Taiwan "lives in hope of being colonised"?

    I think you brought up two valid points. Why are some Taiwanese nostalgic about the Japanese occupation? Why does Taiwan keep the artifacts taken from China? But you don't seem to have seriously tried to answer these questions.

    By Blogger Taiwanonymous, at November 14, 2008 9:10 PM  

  • Hi Ms T,

    let me state the following parameters.

    i have nothing against the continual development of progress and increased happiness to the people in / of taiwan.

    my deepest love was a taiwanese whom i met in a small town in yun lin, whereby everything wonderful about her remains me of taiwan.

    there are other wayward taipei girls of course, but that's another story for another day.

    so, yes, i am nothing against this country, where my truest love was found.

    that said,

    u asked 2 questions,

    Qn 01
    Why do you use the word "claims" when you say "taiwan claims to be independent from China"?

    My Reply 01
    As much as ROC (Republic of China, Taiwan) makes the claims that it is an independent Sovereignty separate from PRC (People Republic of China, China), the current state of affairs as recognised by United Nations, UN, is that PRC China is the One and Only China that the countries in the UN community recognises.

    As such, I am simply following the international standards in repeating what is by international standards, that in the eyes of United Nations, the international community do not view Taiwan as a country. This is a fact, no?

    I hope the above reply answers your first question.

    Regarding your 2nd Question which relates to my original post and puzzlement on the Taiwanese society,

    Part 1
    Why are some Taiwanese nostalgic about the Japanese occupation?

    my answer,
    honestly, i don't know. it amazes me that an ethnically chinese society is actually so embracing of its colonial master. To the extent that i had met dates whereby tw girls so keen on learning things japanese, bf japanese, etc to the extent that there is a hidden undercurrent of trend whereby tw stars-wannabes go to japan to establish themselves, so that they would if successfully, receive the stamp of approval. such as singers like Theresa Teng, Vivian Hsu and heap loads of others.

    Is there something wrong with taiwan society?

    we would never see any jews going / needing the stamp of approval from germans to receive any fame, or jews so keen to learn about german culture...

    generally speaking, there are only 2 chinese countries. china and taiwan. u don't see china being so welcoming to the japanese invaders even as we type and correspond. i have china dates whereby they are 20s and still bear the resentment of japanese invaders.

    Why do the taiwanese seem to exhibit the 'love your kidnappers' syndrome' ?

    I do not know. I have not had a deeper contact with the tw locals (i have about 5 - 8 yrs of local tw contacts) but have not have access to the underlying values of this peculiar chinese society.

    i can only say these,
    when the german chancellor went on his knees in public to seek forgiveness from the jew community for the atrocities nazi germany committed on the jewish race, he had gained the acceptance of the apology from the international community.

    have the japanese govt done anything in form of apology in actions and expression whereby its message of apology is consistent?

    No.

    the jap govt have issued various apologies while still making official yasukuni shrine visits by its head of state inconsistently, and altering the fact that it was the aggressor for the east asia theatre of war and changing it to that it's east asia liberator of colonial powers.

    err, i don't remember KMT China being a colonial country to any country, except that it's governed by incompetent govt,KMT lead by Chiang the Bandit, who later messed up China and Fled to Taiwan, the island, and caused Taiwan 228. would u not be in agreement with me on this, no?

    if we recall the facts, it's Chiang the Bandit who represented Taiwan the UN recognised country then, and withdrew from UN, no?

    Why is it that Taiwan is currently trying to portray itself as being victimised by UN community when it withdrew from it in its own free will in the first place?

    Bad Leadership, Bad Govt?

    A seemingly constant from Chiang days to current state under Chen Shui Bian's days?

    all the above said, i think taiwanese society should bear a stigma of shame that they more readily welcome an invader's culture (read : Jap) than they welcome someone of its common ancestry.

    Question 2
    if taiwan claims independence whereby under chen's govt, there was even claims that taiwanese are a different ethnic group different to mainland china (to me, wtf, are u guys trying to do a korean? whereby the koreans claim they invented chinese culture and what not)

    but let's say, i agree, the international community agrees that taiwan is separate and independent from mainland china on grounds that it's of different Everything, from culture, race, DNA, blood type, poo and pee.

    Why is your (i presume u are taiwanese) (and with a US green card) Taiwan Govt keeping 1.7 million Historical Chinese Artifacts which KMT Chiang Looted from Beijing's Forbidden Palace?

    It (the 1.7 million items) if we follow that Taiwanese are a different race altogether from Chinese, has NO link to Taiwanese Culture, right? Afterall, they are items looted from the China Palace...

    My answer, Greed, Bandit, Dishonesty.

    u may choose all 3 to describe your govt.

    Or simply,

    its in denial that it's a chinese island, who have been colonised by so many countries that it forgotten it's roots.

    and not being in the UN community (ironically, by it's own free will initially) and not given entry back after it left,

    taiwan society suffers from Severe Inferior Complexity Syndrome

    that any event that a taiwanese is featured in the international stage,

    it's press would all in unison expressed one unified message be it blue (KMT) or green (DPP)

    that is

    taiwan number 1.




    as we can see,

    to control a population and to make the best tax squeezes out of it,

    firstly and consistently what does the govt do?

    Dumb down the population.


    the 4900 tw students selected to go to ivy leagues in usa on scholarship,

    only 900 returned...

    we can see that if given freedom, even taiwanese would not choose to go back to that island ...



    that said, they were the brighter ones...


    the rest just stayed and subscribe to the green or blue nonsense...


    what's your opinion on my opinion?

    hope it did not hurt u, though my words may have caused the loss of face to some taiwanese readers.

    regardless, i apologise unreservely for the facts i placed.

    and regret that history has been kind , interesting and funny to the invaders of the island (japs) while it's brutal to someone who has more in common with tw than in differences (chinese)

    by the way, i am not pro-china.

    i just state the facts, whereby i leave the opinions for the readers to draw on their own discretion.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 15, 2008 2:35 PM  

  • layin it on the line!
    facts b facts - werd

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 20, 2008 4:22 AM  

  • hi, i am the contributor of the 1st and 3rd post.

    another interesting note,

    lee teng hui, a taiwanese chinese, who was brought up in the esteemed ranks of japanese education, whereby he is effectively bilingual, mandarin and japanese, is another character that interest me.


    while many non japanese wants the names of their male relatives who died in ww2 under the japanese army to be removed from the list in the yasukuni shrine, lee made a visit to pray for his brother in the shrine, as his brother was a soldier who was brought from taiwan to the japanese army to fight ww2 then.

    simple cultural stand.

    to date, chinese or koreans do not deem any apologies by japanese as serious and sincere as the japanese would have its leaders visiting the contravesal shrine on an on-and-off basis to revoke any earlier apologies they issued, reserved or unreserved.

    as usual, we must have a taiwanese to lead the way to break the stand for the chinese / korean group...

    having an ex-leader visiting the shrine, what sort of statement is he trying to send across?

    are taiwanese so blind as to think japan would annex them?

    are they so desperate to get away from china or to get away from status quo that they would rather be in the arms of a former aggressor than to remain in their original ethnic identity?


    interesting trend,

    the taiwanese girls whom i date, seem to like to bring up the fact that they dated jap guys as a testimony that they had 'something' better than the rest.

    to me, taiwan is a severely immature society who takes on all the bad habits of democracy.


    but, as usual, can't blame them, as while they blamely ape usa in its form of democracy, do try to learn english

    instead of just learning how to speak in some limited form of west or east coast american accented english...

    get to know the spirit of the letter instead of being engrossed with the form of the letter

    that is the only way i can deem progress viable for this group of isolated islanders.

    there is more things i like to say,

    but i doubt that it's enough and effective to send the message across, consider this my last , final post and update.


    have a good day ahead!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 20, 2008 9:22 AM  

  • I've heard of this movie before!

    Really weird--what I can remember about this is this brand of alcohol~~

    By Blogger 宝茹, at November 20, 2008 6:51 PM  

  • the taiwanese girls whom i date, seem to like to bring up the fact that they dated jap guys as a testimony that they had 'something' better than the rest.

    Is this the main reason for your antipathy? Unfortunately, just about every country has a pecking order based on race. If you are angry because your race holds a lower status than the Japanese, then that is understandable, but it has colored your view of reality, to the point where you make ridiculous statements such as:

    Why is it that Taiwan is currently trying to portray itself as being victimised by UN community when it withdrew from it in its own free will in the first place?

    By Blogger Taiwanonymous, at November 21, 2008 12:22 PM  

  • I really like the movie.. very funny too especially the grandpa... lol

    on the debate for this comment forum...

    i just see the movie as a part of a taiwanese culture = a mixed culture

    i don't kno why someone needs a "right" to colonize another..

    taiwan has been colonized by japan, china,and dutch, and so i don't kno why china has more claim or right to colonize taiwan than that of japan

    besides why would the taiwanese ppl side themselves with the chinese after the 288 massacre? and that was how the chinese earned the name "pig" from the taiwanese ppl

    anyway as i said before, taiwanese culture also includes some degree of japanese culturee too.. so please don't think too literally (in that some claim that taiwan wants to be colonize "again" etc.. those who made those claims know NOTHING about taiwan history.. and they are just making a fool of themselves..) and don't think taiwanese culture and chinese cultire are the same, because they are not, obviously.

    By Anonymous ssl, at November 23, 2008 3:06 PM  

  • I guess ssl said it all. Taiwanese culture is unique. Just like Japanese and Chinese cultures are.

    By Blogger 宝茹, at November 23, 2008 3:26 PM  

  • First of all, I like to congratulate the success of Cape. No. 1, and I'm going to watch it here in Hong Kong this coming weekend. About the Chinese and Taiwanese thing, this issue is so sensitive that probably a lot of Mainland, Taiwan and oversea Chinese have it's own thought, well for me being a oversea Chinese, who happen to have a previlage to visit most asian cities with oversea Chinese, including Xiamen, Taipei and Beijing and a lot of other chinese cities and observe that although there is unity of being proud Chinese, there are a lot of disunity among individuals, long before visiting Taiwan I always incline to think that Taiwan should be united with China, but after visiting Taiwan I change my thought and believe that Taiwan should return the Chinese artifacts and continue to build it's Taiwan identity, which have a strong influence from the southern min culture of being nice and warmth character (unlike the cantonese of being 串 and rude), and rebuild it as Min Guo (闽国)which is facing extinction in favor of Guoyu commercialization.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 26, 2008 9:15 PM  

  • To the anonymous sender who said ".. just about every country has a pecking order based on race. If you are angry because your race holds a lower status than the Japanese.." Shame on you! Who died and made the japs a superior race? Any country that can kill, rape and cut people up alive (Unit 731) with no remorse can only be treated the same way that they have treated their victims - with no respect. Besides, don't you know which race the japs once came from?

    Truly disgusting comments. The Germans deserve to be respected because they felt sympathy, remorse and sincerity to make things right. Which of these do the japs possess?

    (P.S. I am not from China, Taiwan or Japan. It doesn't take someone from these places to see the blatant injustice of it all.)

    By Anonymous Evon, at December 09, 2008 1:48 AM  

  • Evon, you totally missed the point of the comment. If you don't reply to this, I'll probably delete your message because it looks like you didn't understand the text. In the comment you quoted, you excluded the word "unfortunately." The original comment was that it was unfortunate that there are pecking orders based on race.
    You characterize the Japanese by killing, raping and cutting people up alive. If you characterize a race by their worst behavior than your are going to have a horrible view of all races. I choose not to characterize Chinese by their worst behavior, such as cannibalism during the Cultural Revolution. I do agree that there is not as much regret on the part of the Japanese as there should be, but I don't agree that this thereby makes it shameful for Chinese to like Japanese culture or Japanese people.

    By Blogger Taiwanonymous, at December 09, 2008 10:48 PM  

  • Watched the movie. These are what I saw: a bunch of beautiful individuals yearning to communicate-seeking understanding and seeking to be understood. I saw a very beautiful unrequited love story - or shall I say, an incomplete love story between 2 individuals. I saw glimpses of the humorous local lifestyles and the beautiful scenery. I saw sadness and joy and all that which are basic to a human being. I saw arts and the wonderful performance of all the actors involved.

    What I didnt see was any political statement-pro or anti-Japanese, nor did I see any thing to do with pro or anti-(mainland)Chinese sentiments. I didnt see any sign of aggression nor signs that encourage this. I certainly didnt see any form of glorifying Japanese colonisation. How ridiculous is that? Mate, you were wild in your imagination. Really beyond me...

    I am not Japanese nor 'Taiwanese'. I am not from China either. I am Chinese and am from Vietnam. I love my Chinese heritage and proud of many contributions that our people have made to the world. I am saddened by all this dog eat dog crap that has been going on in Taiwan.

    Appreciate life in the way this talented director is trying to show to us. Have a dream and go for it- do not hurt anybody though.

    Lets applaud the director for a very simple feel-good piece of art-a piece of moving pictures that doesnt talk about aggression in any shape or form - perhaps because of this, people enjoyed the movie. I certainly did myself.

    So guys, all I saw was a simple, beautiful attempt to portray a group of people coming together from different walks of life, destined to go through uncovering a 60 years old romance that was lost and then, found again through a small parcel that was simply addressed to the owner of Cape No. 7.

    Enjoy and appreciate every moment of your life with whoever you come in contact with-be they a Chinese from China, Taiwan, Vietnam, South America, USA, Australia, Hong kong, etc etc, be they Japanese from Japan, or Korea from Korea etc etc. Together, like Cape 7, with no aggression, we can build a better world for ourselves and children and the generations to come.

    Have a great day!
    Karen

    By Anonymous karen, at December 13, 2008 8:51 AM  

  • Great review, Karen. I am glad you had something so positive to say, especially after reading some of the extremely negative comments. I have a feeling that many of the people criticizing the movie haven't any seen it.

    By Blogger Taiwanonymous, at December 16, 2008 8:34 PM  

  • To the contributor still baffled by taiwan's attachment to Japan:
    For a brief time between the Qing dynasty's agreement to surrender Taiwan and the arrival of the Japanese, the early settlers of Taiwan at the time declared independence as a form of resistance. Because the so-called motherland or people of similar ancestry couldn't protect them, Taiwan's pioneers developed their first identity based on a collective distrust towards the mainland. Since then, the closest thing to the likes of the Nanking massacre that ever happened in Taiwan was one perpetrated by the Chinese from the mainland - the 228 incident. (based on the background knowledge you show I assume that you know) So in retrospect, the atrocity of the Japanese colonization just could not be as heart felt on the island as it was on the mainland. Of course, Chiang's troops would arrive with a significant amount of new immigrants from various parts of china. Having spent their childhood and youth in China, these recent arrivals who you may not have met enough of during your stay in Taiwan, will certainly share your distaste for Taiwan's ties to Japan. But at the same time, they will also pronounce proudly their Chinese heritage as part of their own as would any foreign Chinese around the world. With that said, Taiwan's ethnic diversity (and i'm sure you know it) has given rise to so many viewpoints and cultures. Your observation on Taiwan's sense of attachment to japan could be an accurate depiction of the pop culture, but it is just not enough to apply to Taiwanese society as a whole. And as for the view on Chiang "the bandit", all I know is whatever he supposedly stole would've been completely destroyed in the cultural revolution had it been left in the hands of the communist.

    some food for thought.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 19, 2009 5:16 AM  

  • Stupid people debating for stupid thing. Why don't you guys just respect the existence of other country. For those who are pro-china and anti-taiwan: you try to prove your country's reputation and honor with facts, and at the same time using those facts to prosecute other countries. How selfish!! If every chinese people are this selfish, and too proud of their country, thus not wanting to respect and get along with others, I am so ashamed to be a chinese. I know that China is bigger and stronger than taiwan in many ways. However, nothings in this world will stay the same. Keep that in mind. Why don't you all try to be a better person first before prosecuting others!!

    By Anonymous blahblah, at February 16, 2009 4:05 PM  

  • FIRST OF ALL TAIWAN ISN'T PART OF CHINA, U DUMBASSES. IT USED TO BE CONTROLLED BY CHINESE PPL WHO ESCAPED FROM CHINA TO TAIWAN, WHEN MAO ZHE DONG WAS FUCKING UP CHINA.
    IF YOU WANNA KNOW WHAT REALLY HAPPENED HIT ME UP AT
    REBELLOVE_007@HAWAII.COM (LOWERCASE)
    IM PART TAIWANESE SO I WOULD KNOW

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 18, 2009 9:56 AM  

  • NO OFFENSE TO CHINESE PPL THOUGH

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 18, 2009 10:00 AM  

  • my ancestors went through hell in taiwan b/c of the idiot government in china and the ppl who went over to taiwan to wreck it. im not blaming the ppl and the race, i don't stereotype ... but i totally blame the government

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 18, 2009 10:08 AM  

  • i'll tell you WHY taiwan loves japan, b/c they try to protect taiwan from the fiendish fingers of the chinese government. taiwan doesn't want to be part of china but it doesn't mean china can't STEAL it. it's quite easy for china to steal japan right now b/c the current president is chinese(born in taiwan, though)and is well on his way to handing over taiwan to china.don't understand? do some research,plz e-mail me

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 18, 2009 10:18 AM  

  • Cool movie, but if you know nothing about Taiwanese culture, some aspects of the movie might be difficult to grasp. Acting is excellent. This movie did amazing at the boxoffice, for good reason.

    Jeff Stockton (honolulu)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 01, 2009 4:37 AM  

  • Hi, the contributor of the 1st and 3rd post.
    As a Chinese user, I wanna share something: your points aren't fresh air and actually have been overthrew by many Chinese/Taiwanese writers. Identity is a very complex issue, and has been greatly discussed in Taiwan. If you were qualified to debate on this, you should have known more than what you know now.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 10, 2009 9:49 AM  

  • Came across this thread when I was trying to look up some English review of Cape No 7. The comments was more intriguing than the original post.

    From my knowledge, the Japanese did a decent job at developing Taiwan. They had mandated education for the locals and developed the infrastructure well. As far as I know they were quite fair to the locals and respected the local culture (unlike KMT).

    Of course there are resistance, but as far as I know, there are nothing like the 228 incident or subsequent "White Terror" that spread throughout the island.

    As far as fascination with Japanese culture - I think the Japs did a pretty good job as "colonizer" and the Taiwanese people are quite attached to the Japanese culture. This sentiment is passed down to the subsequent generations.

    Just my 2 cents.
    Olson

    By Blogger Ogisan, at October 29, 2009 4:52 AM  

  • Very spot-on review. The sound recording at the end scene concert (DVD) was particularly bad. Over amplification, etc.

    I actually gave up watching after the opening sequence. The movie was jarring in some aspects, amatuerish even. But watching on, it is quite endearing. Certainly, the movie can delve deeper into character development.

    This is a rather mish mash of a movie in terms of script, sequence, pacing, etc. But I think the naturalness of the locale, its people, insight of local life/issues, makes it rather wholesome and endearing.

    Between, I did my national service in Heng Chun in the 80s. Like Ipoh then, they suffered an exodus of young pple to the cities, leaving many old folks behind. But Ipoh turned it around in 2000 onwards.

    By Anonymous lensgypsy, at September 16, 2010 2:04 PM  

  • I know this original post was from a couple of year ago. However, I only just saw "Cape No. 7"" very recently.

    I am a Taiwanese-American and the film was quite enduring to see a film depict life in a small southern town in Taiwan, rather than in Taipei.

    I did like how the film drew on the different heritages of Taiwan. Some people ask why the Taiwanese "embrace" the colonizers the Japanese? I don't know if I would call it embrace, but regardless, Japanese colonization of Taiwan is still a part of Taiwan history and you can't change that.

    I am by no means anti-Chinese or denying Taiwan's Chinese heritage. Taiwan has strong Chinese heritage, largely from Fujian and northern Guangdong provinces. However, Taiwan has had it's own history for at least several hundreds of years. Taiwan is not merely a Chinese society, but a product of other influences. You got a quick glimpse of that in this film. The large part of the dialogue was in Hoklo Taiwanese which derived from Southern Fujian dialect in China. That was and still in a large part, the lingua franca of a large portion of Taiwan's population. If you also noticed in the film, several cast members are actually Taiwanese aboriginal including the Aga (he's an aboriginal in real life). The police man and first bass player are aborigines and did sing in aboriginal language. One of the characters- the "Malasun" guy is a Hakka. Then, yes, there was some characters speaking in Japanese. And of course, Mandarin was spoken. This film gave a little glimpse of the fabric of Taiwan society came from. It's not merely an exact carbon copy of China on Taiwan. That is a misguided view. I appreciate how this film captures a glimpse of it all, instead of merely depicting Taiwan as merely clone of China on Taiwan- which it is not.

    By Anonymous Tirosen, at November 23, 2010 2:04 AM  

  • "i just know the facts and would be ashamed if i am any remotely related to a society who still lives in hope of being colonised."

    Wow, someone should tell Jewish directors who make films about Holocaust that they really love for genocide to happen again!

    If you walked away from viewing of Cape No. 7 thinking that Taiwan, or any country for that matter, loves to be colonized, clearly you are a fool.

    Oh, the most successful movie in China ever is Avatar, this means the mainland Chinese must hate themselves and want to become aliens. /logic

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 24, 2011 12:24 AM  

  • Hi, I am Japanese. I think that Taiwanese and Chinese are different. I hope that Chinese to know that Taiwanese are held in respect in Japan because of their high spirit and not because of their money.
    Love from Tokyo.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 08, 2013 2:31 AM  

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