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Taipei Exchanges (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) DVD Region 3

Gwei Lun Mei (Actor) | Atari Kousuke (Actor) | Chang Han (Actor) | Zai Zai Lin (Actor)
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YesAsia Editorial Description

From Au Revoir Taipei to Taipei Exchanges, Taiwan's capital is slowly becoming the hip place to be. Commissioned by Taipei's tourism authority and executive produced by director Hou Hsiao Hsien, writer-director Xiao Ya Quan's Taipei Exchanges is a contemporary fairy tale that reflects the charms of Taipei and its people, as well as the modern dilemma between ideals and reality. The film stars Guey Lun Mei (Secret) as a new café owner whose sister (Zaizai Lin) turns her business into a bartering business for people to trade just about anything, including a series of stories told by a traveler played by Chang Han (God Man Dog). Leisurely paced and beautifully filmed, Taipei Exchanges also includes street interviews done on the streets of Taipei to emphasize the city as a major character of the film. Appropriately, the film was the winner of Best Music and the Audience Award at the 2010 Taipei Film Festival.

Doris (Guey Lun Mei) simply wanted to open a refined, stylish coffee shop in a bohemian Taipei neighborhood, but when she's stuck with a load of useless gifts from the opening celebration, her younger sister Josie (Lin Zaizai) turns the café into a burgeoning bartering business. There, even a soulful song (by Japanese singer Atari Kosuke in a cameo) is a tradable commodity. One day, a traveler (Chang Han) brings in 35 soaps from around the world with a story for each of them, awakening Doris's imagination about the outside world that she has never seen.

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Technical Information

Product Title: Taipei Exchanges (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) 第36個故事 (DVD) (香港版) 第36个故事 (DVD) (香港版) 台北カフェ・ストーリー (第36個故事) (DVD) (香港版) Taipei Exchanges (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)
Artist Name(s): Gwei Lun Mei (Actor) | Atari Kousuke (Actor) | Chang Han (Actor) | Zai Zai Lin (Actor) 桂綸鎂 (Actor) | 中孝介 (Actor) | 張翰 (Actor) | 林辰唏 (Actor) 桂纶镁 (Actor) | 中孝介 (Actor) | 张翰 (Actor) | 林辰唏 (Actor) 桂綸鎂 (グイ・ルンメイ) (Actor) | 中孝介 (Actor) | 張翰 (チャン・ハン) (Actor) | Zai Zai Lin (Actor) Gwei Lun Mei (Actor) | Atari Kousuke (Actor) | Chang Han (Actor) | Zai Zai Lin (Actor)
Director: Hsiao Ya Chuan 蕭 雅全 萧 雅全 Hsiao Ya Chuan Hsiao Ya Chuan
Producer: Hou Hsiao Hsien 侯 孝賢 侯孝贤 侯孝賢 (ホウ・シャオシェン) Hou Hsiao Hsien
Release Date: 2011-05-11
Language: Mandarin
Subtitles: English, Traditional Chinese
Place of Origin: Taiwan
Picture Format: NTSC What is it?
Aspect Ratio: 1.78 : 1
Disc Format(s): DVD, DVD-5
Region Code: 3 - South East Asia (including Hong Kong, S. Korea and Taiwan) What is it?
Rating: I
Duration: 79 (mins)
Publisher: Edko Films Ltd. (HK)
Package Weight: 120 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1024397529

Product Information

* Special Features:
- Trailer
- Photo Gallery

Director: Xiao Ya Quan

This is a story about exchange. Doris and Josie are sister with completely different personalities Doris was offended by her younger sisters unnoticed of starting an younger sisters unnoticed of starting an event of trading goods in their coffee shop. After a series of trading and the stories along them, the event eventually changed the sisters values and intuitions. And they stared to look for their own stories.
Additional Information may be provided by the manufacturer, supplier, or a third party, and may be in its original language

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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "Taipei Exchanges (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)"

November 17, 2010

This professional review refers to Taipei Exchanges (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Taiwan Version)
It's thin and underdeveloped, but writer-director Hsiao Ya-Chuan's Taipei Exchanges possesses quirky charm, a relaxing tone and a fine pairing of actresses. Funded in part by the Taipei tourism bureau, Taipei Exchanges stars Guey Lun-Mei as Doris, the proprietor of newly opened Daughter's Café, your standard latte, cheesecake and tiramisu-serving coffee joint located in a suburban Taipei district. Doris always wanted an elegant café, but unfortunately hers is cluttered; at her grand opening, her friends decided to give her lots of useless junk as gifts, leading to a nice-looking café filled with a menagerie of ill-fitting and even tacky belongings. What's a willowy, determined young businesswoman to do?

Simple: she can barter. Working with Doris is her sister Josie (Zai-zai Lin), a supposed business major who for some reason has settled with working in her sister's café. When a customer finds a Thai-Chinese cookbook among the café's mess, Josie makes a deal for the customer to clean their storm drains in exchange for the cookbook. The rationale: the café only sells coffee and related nosh, and all the random junk must be bartered for via other objects or even stories, songs or favors. There's little money involved, but the quirky business does put Daughter's Café on the map. Doris is soon approached by tourism groups, plus the odd customer or two who gets a kick out of this whole bartering thing. Somewhere in all of this, there's a story.

The premise of Taipei Exchanges could have made for a quirky romcom, but the film instead tells an elliptical tale of two sisters who are different but the same. Or something. There's backstory about how their father left them and how each sister possesses different goals, with a whole sequence where Josie concocts a fake past to slyly tell the real story of the two sisters. It's all very pop art but also very unnecessary. Despite offering metaphorical hooha about the true nature of bartering, the film's issues are only simply addressed, with complete ideas sacrificed in favor of easy meaning. Taipei Exchanges says a lot but doesn't really do very much. Even Doris' burgeoning romance with a roguish traveler (Chang Han a.k.a. brother of Chang Chen) is only told between the lines. You don't get clinches or declarations of love here - you get the moments surrounding and possibly relating to the movie-like emotions we're used to. We could call it Wong Kar-Wai-like, but Wong Kar-Wai takes himself a lot more seriously.

Still, it's that lack of pretension that makes Taipei Exchanges very easy to like - that is, despite the fact that its drama is so light that it barely seems to register. The themes of change, self-value and both tangible and intangible trade are explored only superficially and the film's voiceover is sometimes too much. It's really the little things that make Taipei Exchanges enjoyable, like the sharp production design, the jazzy piano score from Summer Lei, the minor family comedy and especially the pairing of Guey Lun-Mei and Zai-Zai Lin. Guey is photogenic and charming, but Lin steals the film, not with obnoxious overacting but with subtle sass and underplayed attitude. Hsiao Ya-Chuan's script and direction pull off the same trick, charming affably without hammering home its decidedly slight dramatic goods. Also, at only 82 minutes, the film never overstays its welcome. Taipei Exchanges is probably just like hanging out at Daughter's Café. It might not be the best use of your time, but the atmosphere is pleasant and you'll enjoy stopping by.

by Kozo - LoveHKFilm.com

This original content has been created by or licensed to YesAsia.com, and cannot be copied or republished in any medium without the express written permission of YesAsia.com.

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