Queer East: Rebels of the Neon God

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BBFC RatingQueer East: Rebels of the Neon God

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CertificateNot Rated
GenreCrime, Drama, Romance
Director(s)Tsai Ming-Liang
Writer(s)Tsai Ming-Liang
Running Time1HR 46MINS
Extra InfoEnglish subtitles
SeasonMain Programme

Teenager Hsiao Kang becomes fascinated with a petty thief in Tsai Ming-Liang's debut feature.

Rebels of the Neon God 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.

Queer East is a cross-disciplinary festival that showcases boundary-pushing queer cinema, moving image work and live arts from, and about, East and Southeast Asia and its diaspora communities.


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