Cities of Last Things
Taiwan | 2018 | 107 minutes | Sci-fi Mystery, Drama | Mandarin (English subtitles)
Director: Ho Wi-ding | Cast: Jack Kao, Lee Hong-chi, Louise Grinberg, Ding Ning
In near-future Taiwan, Zhang Dong-ling (Hou Hsiao-hsien regular Jack Kao) is a former cop wandering the high tech streets in search of revenge and a lost love. In the present, Zhang (Lee Hong-chi) is a policeman who runs afoul of corrupt colleagues, and forms a bond with a kleptomaniac foreigner. And in the past, a delinquent teenager arrested on the same night as a lady gangster (Ding Ning) discovers they have a connection.
Malaysia-born director Ho Wi-ding tells a story of urban anguish while slipping in and out of genres: dystopian sci-fi, crime, mystery, romance, family. These elements are all meticulously arranged, the puzzle box structure slowly revealing new aspects of its characters, who are tragically out of sync with their surroundings. Easily Taiwan’s most polished and intriguing film last year, this stygian tale won the Platform Prize at Toronto Film Festival. Ding’s smouldering performance won her Best Supporting Actress at the Golden Horse Awards.
Text source and photocredit: Cinemasia Film Festival