Taiwan Film Directors: A Treasure Island

Taiwan Film Directors: A Treasure Island

Taiwan Film Directors: A Treasure Island

Taiwan Film Directors: A Treasure Island


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This is a study of selected Taiwan film directors. Since the mid-1980s, Taiwan cinema has enjoyed international exposure through the work of young filmmakers who were brought in to revitalize a declining film industry. Although it was not the intention to use these new filmmakers to win international prizes, their films attracted great acclaim at festivals worldwide. the international profile has emerged as a pivotal, controversial feature of Taiwan directors, who went on to acquire outstanding reputations in world cinema. Collectively, the work of these filmmakers, along with several others, was known as the Taiwan New Cinema, a movement detailing indigenous sociopolitical issues from local Taiwanese viewpoints. Hou Hsiao-hsien, Edward Yang, Wan Ren, Wang Tong, Wu Nianzhen, and a number of others made up the movement. New Cinema lost its momentum in the later 1980s. However, it created a space for further developments. Ten years on, Tsai Ming-liang and Ang Lee debuted with strong pictures on the festival and art house circuit, which they have followed up with increasingly ambitious work. Our study analyzes all these directors in depth, and several more, attempting to build up a picture of Taiwan’s changing film culture. Taiwan Film Directors is historical and thematic, collective and individual, considering the formal strategies of the pictures in tandem with the media environment within which—and sometimes against which—these directors work.

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