Poet, curator, and theater and movie director Hung Hung records a unique moment of Taiwanese avant-garde theater in this documentary. Between the 1980s and the mid-1990s, Taiwan’s avant-garde theater was highly political, charged with the politics of either nationalism or gender. After the millenniu...(Read more)
Poet, curator, and theater and movie director Hung Hung records a unique moment of Taiwanese avant-garde theater in this documentary. Between the 1980s and the mid-1990s, Taiwan’s avant-garde theater was highly political, charged with the politics of either nationalism or gender. After the millennium, however, it turned out to be “BoBo,” trapped between “Bohemians” and “Bourgeois.”
Hung Hung interviews seven female theatre practitioners of different styles and sentiments. Most of them are stage actresses, and in the interviews and the inserted clips from their rehearsals or public performances, they are dramatic and charismatic whether on or off stage.
In contrast, their (ex-) boyfriends and the directors they work with, who are predominantly male, are reduced to minor actors in this film. Many of these girls have gone on to important roles, including directors and stage designers, in Taiwan theatre today.
The touch of intimacy of these interview scenes comes from the fact that the girls all trust director Hung Hung, another theater worker, and talk candidly. At the end of the film, they even ask Hung Hung to enter the frame and confess his own love for theater. Small audiences, an unstable lifestyle, high workload and low income make avant-garde theaters difficult to run in Taiwan. Theater works can ignore or flout social norms out of passion for the theater, but they still have to bear family pressure from their parents. Luckily, theaters and their companies offer temporary alternative families.
Though this film deals mainly with such general and global issues as life and art and the dilemma of poor artists, it also has a local flavor. The theatrical Taipei of the film title is depicted in the film in several specific ways: pubs, live houses, a performance hall in a former winery, and a formerly run-down shantytown on a river bank now occupied by artists and bohemians in want of housing. All of these art spaces are signature sites of Taipei, serving also as metaphorical theaters in this film.
|DVD source：||R.O.C. Ministry of Foreign Affairs.|
|Taiwan Academies, Ministry of Culture, R.O.C. please contact Embassies, Representative Offices of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, R.O.C.|
|Subtitle：||Chinese, English, French, Spanish|
Public Service & Marketing Dept, Public Television Service
2004 Taiwan International Documentary Festival, nominated for Taiwan Award