Past Present (Zuo tian)
Dir. Tiong Guan Saw. 2013, 76 mins. Digital projection. With Chen Shiang-chyi, Hou Hsiao-hsien, Ang Lee. Preceded by Walking on Water (Dir. Tsai Ming Liang, 2013, 30 mins). With Shiang-chyi, Hou Hsiao-hsien, Ang Lee. Malaysian filmmaker Tiong Guan Saw’s documentary creates perhaps the most intimate filmed portrait of Tsai by asking him to tell his story from the very beginning—the city of Kuching, where he was raised, and the cinemas where he religiously consumed kung-fu movies with his grandparents—before following him to Taiwan, where he relocated in the 1970s. Tsai’s recollections are combined with testimonials from longtime collaborators like Lee Kang-sheng and Chen Shiang-chyi, as well as admiring colleagues like Ang Lee and Apichatpong Weerasethakul. Preceded by Walking on Water (Dir. Tsai Ming-liang, 2013, 30 mins.), in which Lee’s Walker monk traverses the Kuching housing block that Tsai grew up in.
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