Retrospective

by Matt McCracken Film Retrospective

Rebels of the Neon God | Tsai Ming-liang

June 4, 2020

Typically regarded as a key director of the Taiwanese Second New Wave, Tsai Ming-liang and his debut theatrical feature Rebels of the Neon God exhibit, at this early moment, an observable relationship in content and visual grammar to that of the 80s New Taiwanese Cinema. The film is told through dual, overlapping narratives that explore the difficulties of making and maintaining connections in modern life: one follows a silent young loner, Hsiao Kang (Lee Kang-sheng), the difficulties he has with…

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by Wentao Ma Film Retrospective

Boys | Tsai Ming-liang

It may surprise you that Taiwanese auteur Tsai Ming-Liang’s first feature-length film, Boys, has a quite significant relationship to British social realism. Made in 1991, the film features an unusual, abusive relationship between a boy (Liu Jixin), born into a bourgeois family, and a…

June 4, 2020
by Daniel Gorman Film Retrospective

Give Me a Home | Tsai Ming-liang

For a world-renowned auteur, it’s surprisingly difficult to find information about Tsai Ming-liang’s early television work. It’s not clear if this is due to general indifference or a lack of availability here in the U.S., but based on the 1991 film Give Me a…

June 4, 2020
by Zachary Goldkind Film Retrospective

Li Hsiang’s Love Line | Tsai Ming-liang

Prior to the solidification of Tsai Ming-liang’s career, which is arguably realized with his first Lee Kang-Sheng collaboration (in the television commissioned project Boys), there was Li Hsiang’s Love Line, a rather frugal yet quietly evocative film which offers an intriguing relationship explicated through…

June 4, 2020
by Matt McCracken Film Retrospective

The Shadow Play | Lou Ye

Chinese filmmaker Lou Ye’s The Shadow Play is a vicious work that descends into the depths of corruption in both a private enterprise (the events of the film are based on those of the real company named here) and in State government (the implications…

May 17, 2019
by Matt McCracken Film Retrospective

Blind Massage | Lou Ye

Lou Ye’s 2014 film Blind Massage marked a transition for director, one that took him into broadly more commercial territory for the first time. Based on the popular novel of the same name, the film unsurprisingly concerns the lives of a Nanjing-based community of…

May 17, 2019
by Luke Gorham Film Retrospective

Mystery | Lou Ye

Despite Lou Ye’s reputation for pushing the boundaries of Chinese censorship guidelines – due to his often frank and incisive takes on politics, gender, and sexuality – Mystery proves a confoundingly tame affair. It opens with the antics of privileged, hedonistic youths racing cars…

May 17, 2019
by Christopher Bourne Film Retrospective

Love and Bruises | Lou Ye

Love and Bruises, which Lou Ye made during his five-year, government-imposed ban from filmmaking in China, is a tale of l’amour fou set, appropriately enough, in Paris. However, the grand romanticism that usually marks such stories is replaced here by a grimly repetitive pattern…

May 17, 2019
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