HomeNews & Views Foreign Flick Friday: Suspenseful Short Thrills Festival Goers in Chinese

Foreign Flick Friday: Suspenseful Short Thrills Festival Goers in Chinese


“Ashin meets Elise at a night market. She looks like an innocent girl until she involves him in a mysterious game that consists in catching her. They run through the streets until she leads him to this apartment. Not knowing whose house he is stepping in, Ashin then realizes that the game has gone too far…”1

It’s a scenario that quickly catches you off guard and then grips you to the edge of your seat: one minute Beethoven’s celebrated “Für Elise” is tinkling like a music box through the din of a crowded market as a boy and girl share the beginnings of small talk familiar to any first date. Is it ironic that Elise was named for the song playing during this first conversation, the one that Ashin can’t stand? Perhaps. But the theory she next describes is even stranger: that we each know someone who doesn’t really exist and therefore cannot be touched. And when Ashin extends a hand… Elise slips just out of reach.

So the race is on, but who is real in this dizzying and dangerous game of hide and seek?

{{Searching for tips on how to use films & shows to improve your language skills? Search no more. See our inaugural Foreign Flick Friday post.}}

Writer/director Albert Ventura was born in Barcelona and moved to Japan at age 24, following his fascination for Asian culture eastward. Greatly inspired by Asian filmmaking and arts, he is currently based in Taiwan.2 Named one of the “10 Short Films You Cannot Miss at the Taipei Film Festival 2016” by AsianFilmFestivals.com3 and winner of Best Narrative Short at the 2016 DC Chinese Film Festival4, Für Elise—Ventura’s third short film—is sure to keep you guessing.

(Bonus challenge for Chinese language learners: You will likely note the differences from standard Mandarin Chinese in both the dialogue and subtitles of this film, as it was made in Taiwan. Can you still follow along? Do you recognize words and sounds?)

It’s movie night, so grab the popcorn and watch this trailer with us. Then tell us what you think @LeadWLanguages on social media.

Interested in other opportunities to explore Chinese language? See our Lead with Chinese – Mandarin page for university programs, scholarships, stories, and more.

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