GET THE HELL OUT
starring Bruce Hung, Megan Lai, Tsung-Hua To, Chung-wang Wang
screenplay by I-Fan Wang, Shih-Keng Chien, Wan-Ju Yang
directed by I-Fan Wang
starring Frances McDormand, David Strathairn, Linday May, Swankie
written for the screen and directed by Chloé Zhao
directed by Spike Lee
by Bill Chambers Have the ticking time bombs the world is sitting on and TIFF's significantly reduced slate resulted in the 2020 iteration of the festival--the COVID-19 TIFF, the pre-election TIFF, the world's-on-fire TIFF--being programmed with increased political fervour? Three of the four films I've so far watched at TIFF 2020 suggest that's the case in their topicality, though I will allow that the silliest of these, Taiwan's Get the Hell Out, would not resonate nearly as much as it does were it not for these unremovable pandemic goggles I wear now, which transform everything old and new into ironic commentary on this moment in history. Get the Hell Out begins in medias res after a (sigh/jerk-off motion) zombie outbreak in parliament, then backtracks to show how the headstrong Hsiung (Megan Lai) was literally muscled out of office for refusing to endorse a chemical plant that will contaminate the environment with the rabies virus. She manipulates a lovestruck security guard with chronic--and portentous--nosebleeds named Wang (Bruce Ho) into running in her place, hoping to use him as a sock-puppet against her misogynistic former colleagues. Alas, he has his own cock-eyed agenda, and so the plague proceeds apace. Trapped in the parliament building, Hsiung and Wang are forced to fend off hordes of cannibalistic MPs as well as their nefarious rival, Li (Chung-wang Wang), the movie's nominal Trump stand-in.