Queer East: Rebels of the Neon God 18

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From the archive

This film was last shown on 23 November 2023

Director Tsai Ming-Liang's debut feature is a masterful exploration of urban alienation and sexual malaise, widely regarded as one of the best Taiwanese films of all time.

The parallel stories are about teenager Hsiao Kang, who feels stifled living at home with his parents, and petty thief Ah-Tze, the object of the teenager’s obsessive hero-worship.

One of the quintessential Taipei films, Rebels of the Neon God captures a transformative moment in the city’s history, as the decaying architecture of the nationalist era gives way to way to technological modernisation, video game arcades, and shiny new shopping malls. Foregrounding themes of queer desire, the film introduced cinemagoers to Tsai’s signature minimalist style, and to his muse, actor Lee Kang-Sheng, who has subsequently appeared in every film made by the director.

This screening will be accompanied by an introduction from Yi Wang, Festival Director and Programmer for Queer East.

Tsai Ming-Liang
1 hour 46 minutes
Mandarin, Taiwanese with English Subtitles
Chen Chao-jing, Jen Chang-bing, Lee Kang-sheng


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