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  • The festival came about because we had access to a series of films, which had been recently

  • released by the Taiwan government.

  • So we had a set of films from the last four decades,

  • and realised that there really wasn't much of a space for Taiwan film in Australia.

  • And as part of our core vision, at CIW, to engage with all aspects of the Chinese cultural world,

  • we thought, with the resources we have, we could put together a film festival, which

  • to my knowledge, hasn't actually happened in Australia.

  • I don't think there has been a Taiwan film festival, despite the fact that there are

  • numerous festivals for different cinemas from around the world.

  • Rebels of Neon God is really the first film that made Tsai Ming-Liang known for what he

  • has become. He has described himself as a slow director.

  • There is a kind of monotony, there is a beat and a pulse.

  • There is a digital soundtrack. Which is really inspired by the arcade games

  • of that era. And the characters in the film are often shown

  • at night. And they are moving around the streets. They are moving in and out of arcades. And

  • there is that sense of that 90s digital urban culture.

  • And so, his idea for the film was really based on trying to capture something alternative

  • about urban youth, at that time. And something uncertain.

  • The film opens with a scene of these two friends basically breaking into a telephone box and

  • stealing a bunch of money with a power screwdriver. So there is that sense of being on the edge

  • of something not quite legal, not quite know. Danger, and yet, the fragility of youth, all

  • within this gritty urban context. And his films often have focused on the marginal.

  • The outskirts, the undesired. On Friday night for the opening, there is

  • The City of Sadness, which is probably one of the masterpieces of Taiwanese recent cinema.

  • And I would say in terms of world cinema, is really quite amazing.

  • So on Saturday night, we have Monga. Which was incredibly successful. And outsold

  • Avatar at the box office. One of the reasons for that is that it has

  • a star-studded cast of young, good looking, very popular actors.

  • But the film itself also deals with really high action story, which has a bit of everything.

  • There is romance. There is action. There is tension within the young gang members.

  • Visually the film is very lush. Very very saturated colours.

  • A lot of scenes of a particular area of Taipei which is a bit old. A bit rough around the edges.

  • And the story also is reflecting change.

  • There is definitely a cinematic Asian action movie legacy, which is there.

  • And you can see that also in the fact that

  • these actors, and the characters are so cool, the way that they are dressed, the way that

  • they act. There is a real sense of contemporary style,

  • and really cool aspect about them, which comes from things like Monga and the influence of

  • some Japanese, in contemporary culture, probably. There are many exciting things about the film festival.

  • But obviously one of them for us is the fact

  • that we can work with the National Film and Sound Archive.

  • They have been very positive about presenting this together. As a way of showing that they

  • are working on something new for the Arc cinema and for the Archive itself.

The festival came about because we had access to a series of films, which had been recently

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B1 US film film festival festival taiwan cinema urban

The 2015 Taiwan Film Festival

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    阿多賓 posted on 2015/04/04
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