The film “Love Talk (越年 Lovers)” (2019) is a collaborative film project of Japan, Taiwan, and Malaysia. A talented Taiwanese female director, Ms. KUO Chen-Ti (郭珍弟), was inspired by the short stories by OKAMOTO Kanoko, wrote and directed this film. This movie is a love story of three men and women in the New Year in Japan, Taiwan, and Malaysia. The Japanese part was taken place in Yamagata City with the full support of the Yamagata Film Commission because the director fell in love with the Yamagata’s snow and cherry blossom scenery. The film’s world premiere was held within the Yamagata International Movie Festival 2019.
The film will be released in December 2020 in Japan.
Introduction to “Love Talk”
The film consists of three stories adapted from Japanese novelist Kanoko Okamoto’s “Farewell, To The Year Gone By” and “The House Spirit.” Set in modern-day Taiwan, Japan’s Yamagata, and Kuala Lumpur, they are a fantastical and humorous depiction of the landscapes of love between men and women in the 21st century. Okamoto examines love from an Asian perspective, which is greatly influenced by Buddhism. While her stories are set in the 1930s, her contemporary vision of human relationships transcend time and borders and continue to resonate with audiences today.
New Year is approaching. A festive yet restive spirit fills the air. A slap in the face, a voice message, and a storm upend the quiet routine of life. They stir up memories, causing confusion, anger and anxiety. They give rise to pursuit, revenge and confrontation. Whatever the cost, the protagonists embark on their journeys.
“Love Struck,” the first story, takes place in Taipei and Kuala Lumpur near the end of 2020 .
Du Hsiao-lan is about to leave the office after receiving her year-end bonus. Wu Ying-shu, a colleague, slaps her in the face for no apparent reason. The next day, she learns that he has resigned and is nowhere to be found. Outraged, Hsiao-lan, accompanied by her colleague Yeh Na, sets out to find that despicable man. Even if it meant searching every corner of the city, Hsiao-lan is determined to seek revenge.
“Friend or Lover,” the second story, takes place in Japan just before the New Year’s holiday .
After learning that his childhood friends – Taro and Aoi – have broken up, Hirokazu travels all the way from Tokyo to his hometown of Yamagata on New Year’s Eve, hoping to bring them back together again. However, Taro, who had urgently beseeched him to go home, is nowhere to be found, leaving only a letter. Hirokazu seeks out Aoi, who evades his questions. Gradually it dawns on Hirokazu that it is he who dares not face his true feelings.
“Out of the Ordinary,” the third story, unfolds just before the Lantern Festival in the coastal town of Fangyuan.
Accustomed to life in the city, Jasmine Lin cannot contemplate living again in the countryside. She is ready to sell a small restaurant that her recently deceased mother had left her. However, a storm keeps her in the house with Li Cheng-nan, a contractor who is fixing the place. Left alone, passion flares up between the two, which comes to an abrupt pause when the storm subsides. Li Cheng-nan leaves the house, while Jasmine gathers her belongings. She longs for freedom – to be as free as a bird. Looking at the sky, she sees a cow riding the wind – and remembers a story that Li Cheng-nan told her.
Cherry blossoms bloom because they have to. Men and women fall in love for love’s sake. Love chooses no one and passion has no logic. Revenge and love are similar in essence, because they are blind. Kanoko Okamoto’s romantic comedies explore the theme of broken hearts – of men and women viewing love from a distance until they are drawn in by a shared smile and finds the courage to let go and for passion to lead them to a new way out.
Directed by KUO Chen-Ti
Producers: Tomoko KATAHARA Jennifer JAO Shaun CHEN Kazufumi YOSHIMURA