“The Moon and the Tree” will debut after Tsai’s 19-minute short “The Night” opens out of competition at Venice.
This will mark the third consecutive year that the Taipei Film Festival has featured work from Tsai. It screened his short “Your Face” in 2019, and his films “Days” and “Goodbye, Dragon Inn” in 4K restoration in 2020.
“Although it’s a short film, I’m serious about my participation in the festival,” Tsai said. He will participate in a discussion with the audience at the fest.
“The Moon and the Tree” features and tells the story of notable Taiwanese artists Lee Pei-jing and Chang Feng.
Lee rose to fame in the 1970s with her pop hit “I Love the Moon,” and became paralyzed at a young age due to a failed spinal surgery. The film follows her determination to return to the stage. Chang is a veteran film and TV actor who has been working since the 1950s and is about to turn 100 years old. His most recent film appearance was in Andrew Lau’s Hong Kong crime drama “Born to Be King.”
The short is produced by the Kuei Tien Culture and Art Foundation. Its chief executive is actor Yang Kuei-Mei, Tsai’s frequent collaborator (“Vive L’Amour,” “The Hole”). “Works by director Tsai Ming-Liang carry such a unique energy,” she said of the film.
Tsai is one of most renowned helmers of Taiwan’s Second New Wave. At Venice, he previously won the 1994 Golden Lion for his drama “Vive L’Amour” as well as the 2013 grand jury prize for “Stray Dogs.” At the Berlin International Film Festival, he earned the Silver Bear special jury prize for “The River” in 1997, as well as the Alfred Bauer Prize and Silver Bear for outstanding artistic achievement in 2005 for “The Wayward Cloud.” His film “The Hole” nabbed the FIPRESCI prize at Cannes in 1998.
He has been honored numerous times by the Taipei Film Awards, winning the feature film jury prize for “The Hole” at the festival’s inaugural run, among numerous other accolades, including best directors in 2015 and 2019 for “No No Sleep” and “Your Face,” respectively.