Film and Television Industry 2016-02-17
Whenever Chinese pop music is mentioned, it is difficult not to think of names such as Jay Chou, Jolin Tsai, or A-mei. Did you know that the term “idol drama” originated from Taiwan’s “Meteor Garden” series? Ang Lee, the director of “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”, “Brokeback Mountain”, and “Life of Pi” is also Taiwanese.
“Idol drama”, otherwise known as “Trendy drama or Taiwanese soap drama” refer to dramas where handsome or beautiful idols play the lead roles. The characters all possess the latest trends. The shows also feature charming Taiwanese locations and scenery. Thus, Taiwanese idol dramas have become hits throughout the Chinese-speaking world. It all started during the 1990's, when Taiwanese cable television networks wanted to shoot a drama suitable for the youth market. Many copyrights to Japanese manga were then purchased and remade into Taiwanese versions, such as “Meteor Garden”, “Devil Beside You”, “Miss in Kiss”, and many others. Later, in order to expand the market for idol dramas, beautiful aesthetics and landscapes were used. In addition to romantic comedy, they also told of life after marriage, with “The Fierce Wife” quickly becoming popular.  The lead female role would often say to the main male lead “ I won't leave!”; this line  eventually became a popular staple in such dramas.
Everyone knows that the openness of media in a country depends on that country's political state. Fortunately, freedom of speech and creation in Taiwan allows its film and television industry to be more inclusive in subject matter than other Chinese speaking regions. Due to Taiwan's ability to freely and boldly discuss gender issues, political criticism, or social phenomena, filmmakers who were limited in China or Japan have gradually begun to notice this small island. As a result of Taiwan's unique historical background, several Chinese and Japanese buildings have been retained. Aside from its distinct scenery and landscapes, it also possesses a welcoming government. CNN reports that “ Taiwan is a small island; in half an hour one can go from the city to the mountains or coast.”. So, why shouldn't you come and visit Taiwan?
Some films shot in Taiwan:
Ⓞ One Missed Call 2, 2005, directed by Renpei Tsukamoto
   Filming location : Ruifang (Jiufen, Jinguashi)
Ⓞ The Taiwan Oyster, 2012, directed by Mark Jarrett
   Filming location: East coast
Ⓞ Lucy, 2014, directed by Luc Besson
   Filming location: Taipei ( Jinghua Hotel, Taipei 101, Jilin Road and Jinzhou Street entrance, Yongle Market)
Ⓞ Life of Pi, 2012, directed by Ang Lee
   Filming location : Taichung old Shuinan Aiport, Taipei Muzha Zoo, Kenting Beach, White Banyan Garden in Manzhou, Pingtung.
Ⓞ Silence, directed by Martin Scorsese

 Movie: Lucy 

A scene from the movie Lucy, set in Taiwan
Image source (:

Hong Kong films are representative of Chinese language action films. Those who are fans of action films can start counting with their fingers the number of famous movie stars from Hong Kong that they know. Very few foreigners know of Taiwanese films though, due to early Taiwanese films being marketed towards a small minority, with the plot and content being more serious. After Hong Kong was returned to China, the market began to change. Under great stimulus, Taiwan produced a romantic comedy “Cape no. 7”, and also started to attempt different genres such as comedy, action, and horror. Focusing on its unique landscape and culture, great efforts were made to make them international so that many more people can be exposed to Taiwan.
Recommended Taiwanese Movies for Foreigners:
Ⓞ Yi Yi: A one and a two, 2000, directed by Edward Yang                 
Genre: Drama, Taiwanese slice-of-life
Ⓞ Legend of the Sacred Stone, 2000, directed by Chris Huang
Genre: Martial arts, glove puppetry/budaixi (the world's first glove puppet movie)
Ⓞ Double Vision, 2002, directed by Chen Kuo-fu
Genre: Action horror with elements of Taiwanese Taoism, featuring David Morse
Ⓞ Island Etude, 2006, directed by Chen Huai-en
Genre: Travel (bicycling around Taiwan)  
Ⓞ Din Tao: Leader of the Parade, 2012, directed by Feng Kai  
Genre: Comedy, Taiwanese folk culture and customs
Ⓞ 7 Days in Heaven, 2010, directed by Liu Zijie   
Genre: Featuring Taiwanese Daoist funeral customs
Ⓞ Zone Pro Site : The Moveable Feast,2013, directed by Chen Yu-Hsun    
Genre: Comedy
Ⓞ Au Revoir Taipei. 2010, directed by Arvin Chen    
Genre: Romance, a love story in Taipei
Ⓞ Leaving Gracefully. 2011, directed by Peng Chia-chia    
Genre: Travel drama based on a true story
Ⓞ Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale. 2011, directed by Wei Te-sheng     
Genre: Action, historical drama based on events that happened during the Japanese colonial era. Taiwan's first large-scale epic film.
Movie: 7 Days in Heaven 

Movie: Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale