Top Films with Scenes Shot in Taiwan


Have you ever wondered where epic cinematic scenes are filmed? A compelling narrative is often given more depth by the choice of location.

Filmmakers locate the right movie locations that are not just visually appealing, but also enrich the story. One such fascinating location is Taiwan. With its ever-changing cityscape and diverse natural landscapes, Taiwan has drawn many filmmakers. Introducing some top films with scenes shot in this vibrant country.

Historical Context of Filming

The use of real locations as backdrops for film shooting isn’t something that happened recently. Directors understood the value of an appropriate setting to tell their stories. This was true for Hollywood flicks and equally applicable to East Asian movies as well.

A well-chosen location can set the mood, provide context, and make the narrative all the more convincing. Therefore, the historical context of filming in places like Taiwan is laden with significance. It’s not merely about capturing stunning visuals but making the audience immerse in the storyline better.

Taiwan’s Flourishing Film Industry

The flourishing film industry in Taiwan is often dubbed as ‘Hollywood East’. Over the years, Taiwanese cinema has produced a plethora of award-winning films and nurtured top-grade directors who have increased international awareness about this small island nation.

More than just a production ground for local content, Taiwan also attracts foreign film directors with its unique blend of traditional oriental and modern metropolitan charms. Many Hollywood films utilize parts of Taiwan for adding authenticity to their narratives or simply because it offers extraordinary visual grandeur.

Life of Pi in Pingtung

In Ang Lee’s visually resplendent “Life of Pi”, sequences depicting the protagonist’s quaint hometown zoo and surrounding community were extensively filmed across Pingtung County’s verdant countryside instead of actual India.

The area’s abundant greenery and fauna provided a convincing, paradise-like backdrop for Pi’s family zoo operation while the rural charm set the overall reminiscing tone for his impending high seas journey filled with discovery and adversity.

Taiwan’s ecological beauty and landscapes aligned perfectly with the magical aesthetics the movie sought to achieve overall, underscoring why it nabbed 4 coveted Oscars including the Best Director golden statuette for Ang Lee’s creative mastery in 2013.

Kenting National Park Appealing Views

Taiwan’s extraordinarily picturesque Kenting National Park landscape has left an indelible mark by appearing through its scene-stealing limelight appearances in global hits like “Life of Pi” and the local award winner “Cape No.7”.

Situated near Taiwan’s southern tip along the island’s alluring tropical coastline, Kenting National Park beholds world-famous sun-kissed sandy beaches, jagged coral cliff formations and impossibly lush inland greenery that visitors can explore via scenic hiking trails.

Its laidback holiday resort charm served as the quintessential heavenly setting for “Cape No.7’s” emotional storyline revolving around long-lost love letters from the past mysteriously resurfacing to spark an unexpectedly romantic connection in the present between locals on the island.

Silence on the Taipei Streets

In Martin Scorsese’s movie “Silence”, Taipei’s streets were transformed into 17th century Nagasaki. The city’s versatility made it possible for the viewer to be transported back into historical Japan seamlessly, even though what they saw were essentially streets of Taipei.

This ability to morph and become part of a completely different setting makes Taiwan an excellent choice as a filming location. It’s like an on-screen chameleon that leaves even savvy cinephiles guessing where some shots were actually filmed.

Lost in Translation Sequences

While most of Sofia Coppola’s Oscar winning “Lost in Translation” was shot in Japan, some sequences were filmed in Taiwan too – although you might never notice it. A few scenes were filmed at the luxurious Shangri-La’s Far Eastern Plaza Hotel in Taipei, standing in for Tokyo’s Park Hyatt.

Yet again demonstrating how easily Taiwanese locations can blend into the world of movies and bring authenticity to narratives, regardless of cultural or geographical context. It adds a layer of depth that strengthens the connections between actors, location and audience.

Lucy and Vibrant Taipei

The Scarlett Johansson-starrer sci-fi action spectacle “Lucy” truly epitomizes Taiwan’s immense popularity and magnetism amongst visionary international directors for filming blockbuster sequences. Lucy’s titular protagonist is first introduced when she arrives in Taipei amidst energetic scenes showcasing local Taiwanese going about their everyday lives and cultural routines.

The movie’s immediately iconic and adrenaline-pumping car chase scene unfolds frantically across downtown Taipei’s perpetually bustling Zhonghua Road as Lucy ruthlessly guns down an entire Taiwanese mafia contingent before vanishing without a trace – perfectly conveyed through Taiwan’s trademark city street vibrancy and chaos.

Formosa Betrayed Historical Settings

Historical drama “Formosa Betrayed” used Taiwan’s historical settings to tell a gripping story involving political intrigue. With its 1980s backdrop symbolizing Taiwan’s martial law period, the movie artfully depicted societal conflicts while showing off Taiwan’s historical architecture and aesthetics.

This Susan Morgan Cooper directed film wonderfully fused moments of Taiwanese history with the unfolding mystery in its narrative. Once again demonstrating how beautifully Taiwan’s unique combination of geography, culture and history can serve a diverse range of film genres.

Mission Impossible’s High Chase

The blockbuster action franchise “Mission Impossible”, starring Tom Cruise, also featured scenes shot in Taiwan. Most notably, a thrilling action sequence from “Mission Impossible 3” was filmed at Xitou Nature Education Area in Nantou County.

Taiwan’s remarkable landscapes allow such sequences to be beyond visually stunning and create a suspense-filled atmosphere, enhancing the cinematic experience for audiences globally.

Black and White: The Dawn of Justice Highlights

Taiwan’s very own action blockbuster, “Black and White: The Dawn of Justice”, showcases the country’s urban development in a different light. Rather than representing Taiwan through its natural vistas, the film brings to the forefront the modern architecture of Kaohsiung city.

The movie also highlights the Love River, one of Kaohsiung’s primary attractions, accentuating this vibrant city’s progress over the years. The film is a testament to how Taiwanese filmmakers are adept at highlighting their country’s charms.

Unique Locations for Seediq Bale

Taiwan offers many exceptional filming destinations for movie fans to visit. One stellar example is the remote wilderness valleys showcased in the acclaimed historical drama “Seediq Bale”.

By shooting in secluded natural spots instead of well-known areas, the film authentically conveys Taiwan’s raw majestic beauty as a perfect backdrop to the intense plot. For passionate fans, visiting these still pristine lesser-known locations offers an unforgettable opportunity to admire the awe-inspiring landscapes and retrace the cinematic journey.

Capturing Aesthetics in Cape No.7

Internationally acclaimed Taiwanese romance film “Cape No.7” garnered immense critical praise particularly for ingeniously blending South Taiwan’s striking Hengchun seaside landscape together with the director’s heartwarming narrative dealing with cross-cultural bonds transcending traditional barriers.

Visually backdropped against the emerald hills and turquoise shorelines of picturesque Kenting National Park, the clever fusion of geography and human relationships resonated strongly with audiences worldwide beyond linguistic limitations.

This global response consolidated director Wei Te-Sheng’s burgeoning reputation for skillfully merging resplendent regional Taiwanese aesthetics together with universal storytelling for maximum impact.

Closing Thoughts

Through its illustrious cinematography, Taiwan has woven a rich cultural tapestry for filmmakers globally. Its history, communities, cities and terrain concordantly provide endless fodder for impactful movies.

As highlighted, films incorporating Taiwan deliver far more than superficial enjoyment; they transport viewers into an immersive experience fusing geography, culture and the human condition to powerful effect. Without doubt, Taiwan’s cinematic imprint will continue enthralling audiences worldwide.


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