Did you know regular filmmaking on Taiwan only started in the 1950s? With a Taiwanese-language film industry? Between then and the 1970s, 1000+ Taiwanese-language features were made. However, the budgets were miniscule, the companies short-lived, and there was no archive. They were quickly forgotten, and only 200+ survive.
With the establishment of the Chinese Taipei Film Archive in 1979 and the end of martial law in 1987, Taiwanese-language cinema of the 1950s–1970s, once seen as a disposable entertainment, is now being revalued as an art form and window on old Taiwan.
To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the first Taiwanese-language film in 2016,Professor Chris Berry (King’s College London) and Dr. Ming-yeh T. Rawnsley (Centre of Taiwan Studies, SOAS) have co-organised the “Taiwan’s Lost Commercial Cinema: Recovered and Restored” project, jointly supported by the Ministry of Culture of the ROC (Taiwan), King’s College London and the Taiwan Film Institute (previously Chinese Taipei Film Archive).
The films, which are all subtitled in English, will be shown on Thursdays in October and November at 18.10 in the Screening Room, G04, 50, George Square. See the listing information below.
Thursday 12 Oct 2017
The Best Secret Agent (1964)
The Best Secret Agent, the first ever Taiwanese-language spy movie produced in Taiwan, is a remake of a 1945 movie of the same name that caused a sensation in Shanghai. Fuelled by a dog-eat-dog plot and the many changing faces of the protagonist, the film created a new Taiwanese box office record in the early 1960s and kick-started the popularity of the Taiwanese-language spy film genre for years to come.
Ms. Teresa Huang from theTaiwan Film Institute will talk about the restoration project and introduce this first film in the run.
Thursday 19 Oct 2017
Early Train from Taipei (1964)
A classic town-and-country melodrama.
Thursday 26 Oct 2017
Vengeance of the Phoenix Sisters (1968)
Martial arts action.
Thursday 2 Nov 2017
Dangerous Youth (1969)
A critique of materialism and greed subverting the conventional gender hierarchy.
Thursday 9 Nov 2017
Brother Wang and Brother Liu Tour Taiwan (1959)
Laurel and Hardy-inspired comedy.
For more information on the individual films, please go here: https://taiyupian.uk/