Surrounded by big-screen drama while exploring Taichung
Words by Li Jei-yu Photos provided by Lin Wei-kai Translated by Anna Yang
Taichung City Government’s recent film development promotions have meant that many movies and TV dramas have been filmed in the city, offering viewers a variety of Taichung perspectives.
Where it all started: We grew up here!
Guangfu New Village
Sun-illuminated red brick walls at this village for mainland immigrants reminds many people of scenes from the film “Sen Sen”, in which Grandma Lily (played by Bao Chi-jing) faces the last 100 days of her life. She becomes a taxi driver who enjoys dancing and live webcasting, even as she befriends lonely child Sen Sen to launch an interesting intergenerational friendship that fills a mutual need in two lonely lives.
Guangfu New Village was once used to house Taiwan Provincial Government employees. As actress Bao noted in an interview, this peaceful, quiet community offered a filming location that couldn’t be found in Hong Kong. Today, the deep emotions evoked by the movie remain embedded in this greenery-filled village, awaiting discovery by visitors wanting to experience the atmosphere they observed on the big screen.
Dadu District’s Ruijing Village
Taiwanese singer Crowd Lu made his movie-acting debut in “A Boy Named Flora A”, a film version of the TV drama with the same cast and name, set in Dadu District’s Ruijing Village (“Fanxing Village” in the TV show and movie).
Every corner and turn in these rustic “sanheyuan” (three-section compound), red-brick homes and country roads here reminds visitors of this drama’s “argument in the alley” scene, as well as main character Hua Jia’s life. In the movie, Hua Jia repeatedly tries to change the stubborn thinking of his family members before realizing that the most important thing is to fully live in the real moments.
Love and drama: This is where we found love
Taichung Rainbow Village
The romantic comedy “Love You Ten Thousand Years” revolves around a 90-day love contract between main character Wu Chi-feng (played by Vic Zhou) and Japanese girl Mika Sakurada (played by Kato Youki), and Taichung’s Rainbow Village is the place where he breaks up with her.
The heartfelt scene of the break-up was supposed to be sad. Yet, images of lovers Wu and Mika chasing each through Rainbow Village takes on an upbeat mood, and the extensive paintings created here by military veteran and “Rainbow Grandpa” Huang Yung-fu have made this village a designated cultural area.
National Chung Hsing University
In the movie “Campus Confidential”, a strange phenomenon generates a romantic relationship between a beautiful law student and an unattractive geek. According to the plot, if two people meet at Chrysanthemum Lake when it is dries out, they are bound to fall in love and stay together forever. National Chung Hsing University’s Chung Hsing Lake stands in for this lake in the movie but, unlike the film’s vibrant atmosphere, is normally a peaceful and quiet setting with old intertwining trees that give it a bit of a cozy ambiance. In real life, this is also a favorite wedding-photo spot, with surroundings that make it a perfect spot for a sunny afternoon walk.
Suspense and action: This is where we find justice
Taichung City Hall on Taiwan Boulevard
The original “Black & White” movie (also TV drama) has three sequels now. Every part of the stunning action, including explosions and a car chase, conveys excitement and suspense to the viewers.
The movie scene where everyone is staring at a gigantic screen was filmed at Taichung City Hall on Taiwan Boulevard. This enormous, modern, glass-walled building was designed by Weber+Hofer AGArchitects, which was selected from among 130 designs submitted from 44 nations in a design competition.
Taichung’s Nantien Temple and Fengyuan Police Department
In the movie “Maverick”, a young passionate cop, Xiao Yeh, reports for duty and is confronted with unspoken rules, including cases that cannot be investigated. This darker side leads him to doubt that justice can be achieved.
To portray the film’s 8th Precinct where Xiao Yeh works, a vacant second floor of the Fengyuan Police Department was used. During the movie, the main characters–played by Yu-sheng and Jian Man-shu–also pray at Taichung’s popular Nantien Temple, reputed to provide blessings for those going through hard times.
Sports inspiration: We are filled with passion
Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium
“How do you hit the ball? You just hit it when it comes to you!” These words were spoken by famous baseball player Chen Chin-feng and inspired the movie “Viva Baseball”, about professional baseball player Wu Mi who is kicked off the team after being involved in a baseball gambling scandal. Wu loses his passion for everything, but regains his love for baseball when he starts teaching at a school.
Filming was done at Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium and 3D special effects make viewers feel like they are actually inside the stadium, with shooting angles of the grandstands helping to underline the fact that the main character moves beyond past mistakes to fight for something that he truly enjoys.
Music/movie star Jay Chou was executive producer for the film “10,000 Miles”, made in cooperation with ultramarathon runner Kevin Lin. The plot portrays the ways a marathon runner surmounts many obstacles to continue his training, with the motto “never try, never know” expressing the achievement of one’s dream despite the reality of many pressures.
One of film scenes is Maple Garden, which stands as a green oasis in the heart of the city. Autumn is the perfect season to take a walk in this park and enjoy its unique scenery.