films seen
7
average score
3.28*
nationality
Taiwan - 41 years old
status
Alive and kicking
more info

The good stuff

Eternal Summer

by Leste Chen
Sheng Xia Guang Nian
2006 / 93m - Taiwan
Romance, Drama
Eternal Summer poster

After only two films Chen is well on his way to become a personal favorite. He has a keen eye and is quite versatile.

Solid pieces

Home Sweet Home

by Leste Chen
Mi Mi Fang Ke
2021 / 110m - China
Mystery, Thriller
3.5*/5.0*
Home Sweet Home poster

Leste Chen's latest is a neat little mystery/thriller. A film with a pretty farfetched story, with enough twists and turns to upheave the entire first half. Certainly not something everyone is going to appreciate, but proper production values and Chen's delicate direction buy Home Sweet Home a lot of credit.

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The Wangs are a tight-knit, though somewhat odd family. When Mr. Wang takes in a shook up bus driver, who is related to a fateful car accident that killed all the kids in Wang's son's class, tension rises between the family members. Slowly the driver starts to remember the details of the accident, revealing more secrets than he was prepared for.

While the premise is clear from the start, Chen isn't too eager to reveal where the film will go from there. The mystery is upheld until very late into the film, a big plus in my book, but some might up feeling a little lost. Good performances, clean styling and a fun finale should make up for that. A more than solid mystery.

Battle of Memories

by Leste Chen
Ji Yi Da Shi
2017 / 119m - China
Fantasy, Mystery, Sci-fi, Thriller
3.5*/5.0*
Battle of Memories poster

The Great Hypnotist

by Leste Chen
Cui Mian Da Shi
2014 / 104m - China
Mystery, Thriller
3.5*/5.0*
The Great Hypnotist poster

The Heirloom

by Leste Chen
Zhai Bian
2005 / 97m - Taiwan
Horror, Mystery
3.5*/5.0*
The Heirloom poster

Leste Chen takes a swing at the horror genre. Not too surprising, considering the Asian horror boom of the 00s, or the fact that horror cinema is an ideal platform for young directors who want to make a new for themselves. I really liked The Heirloom the first time I watched it, almost two decades later though, the film has some trouble setting itself apart from its peers.

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James inherits the family house, after a big tragedy happened there 20 years earlier. He moves in with his girlfriend, but soon after strange things start happening to James and his friends. His girlfriend is certain the house is to blame, so they start delving into James' family history.

The muted color palette, snappy editing and stylish score form a solid foundation for a moody horror film. It should be no surprise that Chen mixes in mystery and drama elements too, a staple for Asian horror cinema. There's just not quite enough here to turn it into something unique. Not quite tense enough, not visually distinctive enough, not surprising enough. It's still a very solid film though, just no masterpiece.

The inoffensive

101 Proposals

by Leste Chen
101 Ci Qiu Hun
2013 / 120m - China
Romance
3.0*/5.0*
101 Proposals poster

Dubious filler

20, Once Again

by Leste Chen
Chong Fan 20 Sui
2015 / 131m - China
Comedy, Fantasy
2.0*/5.0*
20, Once Again poster