Keeping Watch (DVD) (Taiwan Version) DVD Region 3
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YesAsia Editorial Description
In the past few years, Taiwan cinema has seen the gradual emergence of young, talented directors like Leste Chen, Zero Chou, Lin Yu Hsien, Robin Lee, and Wu Mi Sen, and now we can add Cheng Fen Fen to that list. The Golden Bell-winning television screenwriter/director's debut feature, Keeping Watch tells a pondering, picturesque tale of romance, loneliness, and healing in a lazy rural town. Like the works of Cheng's contemporaries, Keeping Watch is a fusion of youth romance and arthouse melancholy delivered by a very photogenic cast. Doll-faced model Haden Kuo makes an impressive acting debut, and Eternal Summer heartthrob Joseph Chang charms as a sensitive young man suffering from schizophrenia, effectively bringing out the two different sides of his character.
Moody loner Ching (Haden Kuo) runs a clock shop in a small town where time passes slowly and life stands still. One day, a tongue-tied bespectacled young man, Han (Joseph Chang), shows up to get his watch fixed. Like clockwork, everyday he comes at the same time to get the same watch fixed. Obviously holding a torch for Ching, Han tells her that they are former classmates, and a hesitant romance forms between the two odd, lonely souls. What Ching doesn't know, however, is that Han is actually a mental asylum patient. Every morning he wakes up as cool and bristly Yu, but at 3 p.m. he becomes the awkward and insecure Han who seeks out Ching.
This release comes with trailer, interviews with director and leads, and press coverage clips.
|Product Title:||Keeping Watch (DVD) (Taiwan Version) 沉睡的青春 (DVD) (台灣版) 沉睡的青春 (DVD) (台湾版) 沈睡的青春 (DVD) (台湾版) Keeping Watch (DVD) (Taiwan Version)|
|Artist Name(s):||Joseph Chang (Actor) | Haden Kuo (Actor) | Chung Hsin Ling | Wang Chuan | Tao Chuan Zheng | Liu Liang Zuo 張孝全 (Actor) | 郭碧婷 (Actor) | 鍾欣凌 | 王琄 | 陶傳正 | 劉亮佐 张孝全 (Actor) | Haden Kuo (Actor) | 锺欣凌 | 王琄 | 陶传正 | 刘亮佐 張孝全（ジョセフ・チャン） (Actor) | 郭碧婷 （クォ・ビーティン） (Actor) | Chung Hsin Ling | Wang Chuan | Tao Chuan Zheng | Liu Liang Zuo Joseph Chang (Actor) | Haden Kuo (Actor) | Chung Hsin Ling | Wang Chuan | Tao Chuan Zheng | Liu Liang Zuo|
|Director:||Cheng Fen Fen 鄭芬芬 郑芬芬 チェン・フェンフェン Cheng Fen Fen|
|Subtitles:||English, Traditional Chinese|
|Country of Origin:||Hong Kong, Taiwan|
|Picture Format:||NTSC What is it?|
|Aspect Ratio:||1.33 : 1|
|Sound Information:||Dolby Digital 2.0, Dolby Digital|
|Region Code:||3 - South East Asia (including Hong Kong, S. Korea and Taiwan) What is it?|
|Package Weight:||120 (g)|
|Shipment Unit:||1 What is it?|
|YesAsia Catalog No.:||1010011788|
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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features
Professional Review of "Keeping Watch (DVD) (Taiwan Version)"
Simultaneously lovely and calculated, Keeping Watch seduces the viewer while also challenging them to suspend their disbelief. Set in lovely rural Taiwan, the film concerns Ching (Haden Kuo), a quirky young woman who runs her father's clock shop all by her lonesome. The shop is located next to the railroad tracks, but Ching never rides the rail, because many years ago, her mother got on the train and never came back. Since then her father has been a dopey drunk, who's always waking up to ask if his wife has returned. Ching has given up all hope that such a thing will ever happen, and continues to bide her time, waiting in the clock shop. But just what is she waiting for?
Keeping Watch asks the above question. Literally. As is usual for a Taiwanese film, Keeping Watch is told in slow, opaque style without benefit of voiceover, obvious exposition, or very active storytelling. However, director Zheng Fen-Fen does use an overt narrative device: a series of dreamy intertitles between scenes, effectively acting as Brechtian subtitles denoting virtual chapters in the film. The intertitles narrate the film in almost children's book-like format, giving us big cues that the dialogue and exposition aren't handing to us. The device certainly helps, but it also renders the onscreen happenings as less demonstrative than they could be. The audience no longer thinks for themselves; instead, the titles hand the film to them, reducing interpretation to mere questions that receive almost automatic answers.
Still, despite the film's obvious intent, there's enjoyment in Keeping Watch, especially in its gradual, non-verbal development. Ching's wait ends when she meets Han (Joseph Chang of Eternal Summer), a near-sighted fellow who carries an obvious torch for the willowy Ching. He arrives every day after 3pm to ask her to fix his watch, which always becomes waterlogged between visits. At first she dutifully fixes it, asking for payment each time, but slowly the connection between them is made. Han reveals that the he and Ching were once classmates, and before long, a minor romance blooms. But Han is also Yu, who resides in a psychiatric hospital and goes on furlough every day at 3pm, whereupon Yu becomes Han and goes to visit Ching. How is it that Yu and Han can inhabit one body, and what kind of psychiatric hospital lets its patients come and go as they please?
That last detail is one of the unbelievable aspects of Keeping Watch, and there are many others, including intertwined past connections, convenient situations, and some stuff that's difficult to completely buy. The film possesses plenty of odd details, and many of them are charming, especially when performed by the lovely, photogenic Haden Kuo. Still, some of the quirkiness is more cutesy than actually quirky, and seems glaring in its needlessness. The characters don't always convince; Ching warms to Han far too quickly, which is odd given her aloof character (the film takes place 10 years post-high school and she seemingly has no friends at all). What's more, the revealed backstory between she and Han/Yu is very, very involved, and though the facts are dispensed seriously and even reverently, some of the details don't convince, and are even a bit silly. Ultimately, the film reveals a potent, but also convoluted backstory that requires plenty of verbal explanation. When everything finally gets explained, the situation is so labored that whatever magic director Zheng Fen-Fen has created loses a little luster.
This isn't to say that the film is bad, because it's not. The film is simply enjoyable to watch; the performances are involving, and even its cloying devices manage a certain sort of charm. Haden Kuo has a refreshing screen presence, and Joseph Chang is quite good as Han/Yu, managing to create two distinct characters through more than just a pair of glasses. Ultimately, there's much to like in Zheng Fen-Fen's approach, from the minor details to her depiction of the rural Taiwan setting, which seems to exist as an idyllic, remote hamlet reachable only by train. The film would have been improved had they tightened up the script and story, perhaps limiting the more quirky elements and reducing the amount of intertitles providing exposition. The whole film is a little too calculated in its meaning and intent, managing to affect more by design than actual execution. However, the unfolding situations and minute details make for a charming and even touching little film that can still engage one's emotions, if only superficially.
by Kozo - LoveHKFilm.com
Customer Review of "Keeping Watch (DVD) (Taiwan Version)"
See all my reviews
February 10, 2014
Two Souls - A split personality in time
Ching (Haden Kuo) lives with her drunken father after her mother had left Ching and her dad by boarding a train that regularly stops outside Ching’s clock shop, and had never returned. Ching always refuses to travel on a train that stops daily by the platform outside Ching’s shop, fearing if she got on a train she would go away forever like her mother. Ching though works skilfully alone in the little shop, fixing watches and clocks and sleeping, eating and other things like clockwork herself.
One day a young man gets off a morning train and enters Ching’s shop. His name is Han (Hsiao-chuan Chang) who shyly asks Ching to fix his water damaged watch. Han also tells Ching he once shared the same classroom at Ching’s school, although Ching having bad memories of her school years couldn’t remember him. Han though observes Ching a lot and knows her daily routines like clockwork, even asking Ching why she no longer played her harmonica tune as the trains were about to stop outside the shop. But Han is really a man named Yu with a split personality and a patient at a local hospital. On free times and at preciously 3.00 am in an afternoon, Yu’s cocky personality is replaced with shy Han who then boards the afternoon train to visit Ching, to ask her to fix his wrist watch that Yu doesn’t like. Han of course loves Ching and Ching becomes intrigued by Han liking him more by his regularly visits, even telling Han (with her harmonica) to visit without needing a watch fixed. One day both take a walk to a small waterfall region, where ten years before a boy named Han had jumped from a height and then drowned in the water pool. Han was a school friend of Yu’s and Han was always secretly in love with pretty Ching. But after Han’s death Yu found himself sharing his friend’s personality, and Han knowing a lot more about Ching than Yu could ever possibly know.
I only discovered this 2007 Thai movie recently, but what an interesting well made romance movie. Its love theme is a sweet one but the plot also intrigues by the nature of the psychology and part supernatural element. The character of Yu and his alternative personality of Han brought to mind the real lives of historical people such as Mary Reynolds and Doris Fischer, both women having multiple split personalities. Haden Kuo as Ching is very pretty and the movie reflects this by occasional beautiful and intricate landscape cinematography. A very beautiful, psychological supernatural movie and much recommended.