Café Lumière

Making her way through life by forming superficial relationships, Yoko (Japanese pop idol Yo Hitoto) keeps everyone at arm’s length, whether it’s her father (Nanji Kobayashi) and stepmother (Kimiko Yo) or Hajime (Tadanobu Asano), the owner of a small bookstore who could be the father of her unborn child. Yoko seems most at home when she’s riding the train, speeding around the city with only her thoughts to entertain her.

The Assassin

9th century China. 10-year-old general’s daughter Nie Yinniang is abducted by a nun who initiates her into the martial arts, transforming her into an exceptional assassin charged with eliminating cruel and corrupt local governors. One day, having failed in a task, she is sent back by her mistress to the land of her birth, with orders to kill the man to whom she was promised – a cousin who now leads the largest military region in North China. After 13 years of exile, the young woman must confront her parents, her memories and her long-repressed feelings.
A slave to the orders of her mistress, Nie Yinniang must choose: sacrifice the man she loves or break forever with the sacred way of the righteous assassins. [Synopsis courtesy of Cannes Film Festival]

Three Times

There are three stories of women and men: in “A Time for Love” set in 1966, a soldier searches for a young woman he met one afternoon playing pool; “A Time for Freedom,” set in a bordello in 1911, revolves around a singer’s longing to escape her surroundings; in “A Time for Youth” set in 2005 Taipei, a triangle in which a singer has an affair with a photographer while her partner suffers is dramatized. In the first two stories, letters are crucial to the outcome; in the third, it’s cell-phone calls, text messages, and a computer file. Over the years between the tales, as sexual intimacy becomes more likely and words more free, communication recedes.

The Flight of the Red Balloon

The first part in a new series of films produced by Musée d’Orsay, ‘Flight of the Red Balloon’ tells the story of a French family as seen through the eyes of a Chinese student. The film was shot in August and September 2006 on location in Paris. This is Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s first Western film. It is based on the classic French short The Red Balloon directed by Albert Lamorisse.