Close Up

3 - 30 June 2019: Rebels of the Neon God


Rebels of the Neon God
Tsai Ming-liang, 1993, 106 min
Mandarin with English subtitles

"While working on a series of short films about juvenile delinquents, Tsai met the teenaged Lee Kang-sheng in a video arcade and was inspired by the young man’s naturalness in front of the camera to make a feature film centered around his struggle with Taiwan’s college entrance exam. A haunting portrait of loneliness and misdirected youth, Rebels of the Neon God revealed Tsai’s ability to discover the expressive potential of overlooked everyday spaces – back alleys, motels, video arcades. The emergence of Tsai’s minimal aesthetic is apparent at key moments throughout the film, especially during those captivating sequences where the camera discretely follows Lee from afar as he desperately watches another young man whose successful pursuit of love and schoolwork exerts a strange hold on Lee." – Harvard Film Archive

Part of our Taipei Stories programme