Rebels of the Neon Screen

Attended by sleestakk

7 movies were watched during Rebels of the Neon Screen


Rebels of the Neon Screen: A Tsai Ming-Liang Retrospective at Doc Films

This is the program description from their website: Doc Films is excited to announce a complete retrospective of the films of Tsai Ming-liang, presented in collaboration with the Center for East Asian Studies and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office. Tsai is one of the most important and influential auteurs of the twenty-first century, and this will be the first complete presentation of his feature films to ever take place in the Chicago area. This series will feature several rare 35mm prints imported from Taiwan, as well as several of Tsai's short films that are otherwise inaccessible.

A leading filmmaker of contemporary Chinese-language cinema, Tsai Ming-Liang has produced one of the most striking cinematic oeuvres of the past quarter-century. Malaysian by birth, Taiwanese by residence, internationally funded but belonging to nowhere in particular, Tsai makes moody, pensive, deadpan films haunted by loss, failure, and broken attachments. But these films are not mere exercises in nostalgia: collaging the fragments of contemporary life into a cinema of alienation, precarity, and queerness, Tsai's slow style and serial characters iterate and interrogate all the ways attachment falls short amid the austerity, inequality, and increasing uncertainty rapidly proliferating in the margins of modernity.

Tsai's muse, Lee Kang-Sheng, stars in every film as Tsai's alter ego, Hsiao-Kang ("Little Wealth"), a transient protagonist working job after unstable job on the abject underside of the fast and flashy global economy. Wayward encounters, unorthodox intimacies, and inarticulate desires give way to austere, surreal tableaus: shots and scenes extend for many minutes, producing a cinema as intense and precise as it is diffuse and disorganized. Individually, the films flirt with formlessness, but are threaded together by recurrent motifs--phone booths, flooded apartments, mysterious ailments, glowing screens, cockroaches, mumbled meals, lost keys, spiritual possession, and watermelons. As the series progresses, the films amplify, reinforce, and refract one another, exploring the incoherence structuring our attachments to objects and others.

I'm watching on my own and visiting Doc Films for a few of the screenings depending on 35mm and availability to watch via library/streaming.

Movies viewed during Rebels of the Neon Screen
TitleDirector(s)Year Released
FaceTsai Ming-liang2009
Goodbye, Dragon InnTsai Ming-liang2003
I Don't Want to Sleep AloneTsai Ming-liang2006
Rebels of the Neon GodTsai Ming-liang1993
The RiverTsai Ming-liang1997
The Skywalk Is GoneTsai Ming-liang2002
The Wayward CloudTsai Ming-liang2005