Film Detail

The Fourth Portrait

Chung Mong-Hong / Taiwan / 2010 / 102 min

Description

THE FOURTH PORTRAIT is a poetic and powerfully acted second feature from the exciting Taiwanese director Chung Mong-Hong (PARKING). A lovingly crafted story, the film blends the sweet, comedic moments of childhood with the more serious undertones of a disjointed family, making for one of the most impressive Taiwanese films this year. The film begins with 10-year-old Xiang patiently waiting beside his dying father’s bedside. After losing the only parental figure he’s known, Xiang is temporarily adopted by the school’s hardline caretaker, then reunited with his cold and inscrutable birth mother (Hao Lei, SUMMER PALACE). At home, cold turns to frigid through the presence of Xiang’s stepfather, who seems to be on the verge of a nervous breakdown. The caustic environment leads Xiang to befriend the local village idiot, and together they wander the countryside, committing petty theft. Meanwhile, Xiang is repeatedly visited by a ghostly figure, whom he believes to be his missing older brother. As he drifts through overcast days on the streets and bleak nights at his mother’s hostess bar, Xiang turns to painting to voice the quiet but significant developments in his coming of age. Grounded with an assured visual style and excellent performances by Taiwanese regulars Leon Dai, Terri Kwan and King Shih-Chieh, THE FOURTH PORTRAIT amplifies a story of lonely childhood to provide a nuanced look at broken family units, domestic violence and émigré disillusion. The film won both Best Director and Outstanding Taiwanese Film at Taiwan’s 2010 Golden Horse Awards. Christine Kwon

Credits


  • Director: Chung Mong-Hong
  • Producer: Tseng Shao-Chien
  • Cinematographer: Nagao Nakashima
  • Writer: Chung Mong-Hong, Tu Hsiang-Wen
  • Editor: Lo Shih-Ching

Screenings

Sat 03.12 300pm

Sun 03.20 100pm

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