Golden Horse Film Festival
Kethsvin Chee, Chris Leong, Yoon Yee Teh
Run Yin Bai, Lee Zen Lee, Hsueh Feng Lu, Charlie Young
Chi Yuan Chen, Mark Chen
Mm2 Studios Hong Kong Limited
It has the body of a pig, the trunk of an elephant, the ears of a horse and the feet of a rhinoceros. At night, it passes through sleeping villages and gobbles up people’s pesky nightmares. This huge, fantastical beast, called a tapir, is real, and eight-year-old Ah Keat’s father once told the boy he had in fact seen one when he himself was young. One grey day, the family’s fishing boat is towed back into the village harbour, and Ah Keat’s father is not on it. The adults around him – his distraught grandmother, his anxious mom who has returned from Taipei – are not forthcoming with Ah Keat about what has happened. He wants his father back, and he believes the tapir can help, so he and his friends begin a quest to find the gentle, benevolent beast.
The luminous, kindhearted fantasy drama HELLO! TAPIR examines the realities of loss and grief through a lens tinted with magic and wonder. Director Kethsvin Chee (THE CAGE, 2014), strikes an empathetic balance between the ponderous weight of the family’s tragedy, and the magical lightness of a child’s hopeful imagination. His capable digital animation team fortifies the fantasy, making its impossible elements seem palpably real. The charming cast includes a jolt of star power with the inclusion of Charlie Yeung, a frequent face in the films of Wong Kar-Wai and Tsui Hark. Follow Ah Keat and his friends into the deep woods, and have no fear – there is no danger when the tapir is near. – Rupert Bottenberg
This psychedelic animated milkshake of twisted mysticism and streetwise thrills is possibly the most laureled film in Fantasia’s history.
The 4K restoration of the masterwork from the late anime visionary Satoshi Kon, strikingly beautiful, formally inventive, and emotionally rich.
Winning praise from Martin Scorsese, HAN GONG-JU verges on perfection. It’s impossible to remain unmoved by this drama, as relevant as it is powerful.