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Takao Dancer, In this timeless portrait of love and friendship, directors Wen-Shing Ho and Ouchul Hwang tenderly observe the human condition.
Their debut feature honors oriental aesthetics and demonstrates an acute musical sensitivity revolving around a brand-new rendition of the classic, “The House of the Rising Sun”.
It is to apply Maurice Ravel and Toru Takemitsu's techniques of musical composition to the conception and direction of digital cinema. In Takao Dancer, an attempt to escape the confines of an insular Taiwanese fishing village ruptures the lives of all those involved.
The paths of childhood friends Chi, Yi, and Kong grow increasingly discordant after a jointly botched crime renders Chi a lifelong fugitive.
Having successfully migrated to the big city, Kong joins the police force and is set to marry Yi when she starts receiving secret letters from Chi.
By this point a seasoned and accomplished criminal, Chi is soon under investigation by his former best friend, laying the groundwork for a perilous love triangle.
The film is far from a simple thriller, however.
Directors Wen-shing Ho and Ouchul Hwang accentuate Takao Dancer with a pervasive artistic energy that defies categorization. The film features several of Hwang’s own abstract paintings, along with an eclectic infusing of artistic techniques ranging from time-lapse photography to interpretive dance.
An enticing narrative anchors this unusual aesthetic audacity, described by Variety’s Dennis Harvey as “a giddy demonstration of stylistic techniques that can be applied to the medium.” A film this ambitious requires a range of artistic prowess that is quite uncommon, but certainly possessed by Ho and Ouchul.