Do Over


Do Over alla 21ma Settimana della critica


Taiwan, 2006, 35mm, col., 113’

Director: Yu-Chieh Cheng. Screenplay: Yu-Chieh Cheng. Cinematography: Jake Pollock. Production Design: Tien-Chue Lee. Editing: Po-wen Chen, Chuen-Hsiou Liu. Music: Giong Lim. Costumes: Yen-Miao Lin. Cast: Zong-Hua Tuo, Ching-Guan Wang, An-An Shu, Chien-wei Huang, Ying-Shuan Kao, Yu-Luen Ko, Rong-Rong Chang. Production companies: Top Film Corporation, Leader Entertainment Corporation Ltd.

A young director grapples with the controversial ending to his film and his older brother, a local mafia boss who feels threatened by everyone; a shy production assistant tries to declare his love to the film’s star; one of the boss’ men, an illegal immigrant, want to finally get his passport in order to visit his sick father in Thailand; a small-time drug pusher spends New Year’s Eve in a disco, suspended between drugs and memory black-outs, while one of his friends meets the young director and is compelled to take a trip beyond reality with him… The destiny of many people on New Year’s Eve, caught between that which was and that which will be of their lives.

A transversal drama on the 24 hours of New Year’s Eve, suspended in the existential paradox of a handful of characters clinging to their desires, fears, missed actions and imagined regrets. The plot holds the impulses of diverging genres within a complex framework: romance, yakuza and beyond. Cinema offers this young director the set on which to stage the destinies of characters who live with the fear of not living, who love thinking they do not love, flee thinking they are staying, and cling to actions not taken, identities not defined and expectations never fully realized nor betrayed. The device of the film within the film is not simply a game of mirrors between reality and desire, but serves the director’s need to portray his characters in the double register of their potential lives, where each new scene is a possibility for rebirth. A debut marked by a nocturnal and chaotic rhythm, in which accelerations and suspensions, sweetness and cruelty live side by side. Neon flashes, psychedelic flights, Felliniesque car races, enigmatic characters, friendships that end with the cold light of dawn, encounters that fall apart in the prospects of a future as mysterious as the dark side of the moon: Do Over is a debut of great stylistic and expressive maturity, graced with a photography of defining contour and depth of the scenes and characters, and not lacking virtuosities both narrative (the turnover between space and time) and visual (a beating shot from a subjective point of view). Winner of the Best Film and Audience Awards at the recent Taipei Film Festival.

Yu-Chieh Cheng was born in 1977 and directed two shorts (Babyface, 2000, and Summer Dream, 2001) while studying economy at the National Taiwan University. Summer Dreamwas screened at the Vancouver, Pusan and Tokyo Film Festivals. Yi Nian Zhi Chu  – Do Over is his first feature film.