Teenager Hsiao Kang, living a stifled existence at home with his parents, becomes fascinated with petty thief Ah-Tze.
Defying his parents, Hsiao Kang drops out of school to head for the bright lights of downtown Taipei.
Falling in with Ah Tze, their relationship becomes a confused mixture of hero-worship and rivalry that soon leads to trouble.
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.
Director Tsai Ming-Liang's 1992 debut feature is a masterful exploration of urban alienation and sexual disquiet; foregrounding themes of queer desire, the film introduced cinema goers 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). Rebels of the Neon God is widely regarded as one of the best Taiwanese films of all time.
Screening as part of the touring Queer East Film Festival programme.
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- Joe Harris
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