Thursday, March 06, 2008

Island Etude

The 32nd International Cleveland Film Festival begins today at Tower City. This is one of the coolest things to come to this town.

The movie Island Etude looks like a winner for you cyclist types. An Odyssey-like story about a deaf Taiwanese college student who cycles around the coast of Taiwan and meets all kinds of people along the way.

Tuesday March 11 at 11:30am
Thursday March 13 at 9:30pm

Here's the full description of the movie from the Film Festival's website:

During a break in his studies and with no other reason but to do it while he still can, college student Ming Hsiang decides to take a road trip on his bicycle, circumnavigating the entire coast of Taiwan. In this wonderfully simple story, somewhat comparable to Homer’s “The Odyssey“ Ming endeavors around the island on a seven-day journey with nothing but his bicycle, a sleeping bag, and his guitar. He starts at the southern port of Kaohsiung, cycling counter-clockwise around the island’s coast, up through Hualien on the east coast, and then down the west coast. Ming has been deaf since birth. But despite relying on his hearing aid and having a muddled accent, the solitary student cyclist in no way lets his disabilities impair his openness to connect with anyone and everyone he meets on his journey. Ming’s encounters en route include an eccentric but friendly film crew, a techno-hip-pop young biker from Canada who is visiting his mom amidst her divorce, a beautiful Lithuanian model armed with a camera who shares the same openness as Ming, an art teacher contemplating early retirement, pilgrims of the goddess Matsu, an early wood sculptor, and a vivacious tour guide (played by the director himself). Each vignette manages to blend, delicately blurring the line between documentary and fiction, giving us a rare glimpse into the beauty of a land and its residents in a very localized way without being stereotypically “traditional.” (In Taiwanese with English subtitles) - KL

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