Taiwan|1966|B&W|7 min|Digital|Silent|Chi intertitles & Eng subtitles
Scanned from 16mm print found in 2018.
28.05.2020 (Thu) 19:50 BC

Screening with Dangerous Youth

Dir & Scr: Chiu Kang-Chien
Cinematographer: Ma Wei
Cast: Kao Hsin-Yung

A lost gem of Taiwan’s avant-garde cinema was rediscovered in 2018. A bug is crushed to death on a wall, leaving a bloodstain. A man with his back facing the camera looks like he may be masturbating. A man falls backwards—maybe it’s a car accident. A group of people raises their arms as if they are posing for crucifixion. The film is interspersed with intertitles about God. Perhaps it is a willfully abstruse imitation of western imagery made with raw techniques, but it is a missing puzzle piece in the creative origins of Chiu Kang-Chien. Religious themes, and depiction of tension between the alienated and society were popular themes in his playscripts and poetry at the time. His interests evolved later on in his dramatic films but his distinctive approach to sexuality remained. This is a film of a young and creative filmmaker who was not content to be mediocre, showing great desire to catch up with the world’s forward-thinking and artistic film community. This avant-garde and personal style is a testimony to the diverse talent of the 1960s Taiwanese independent films.

Chiu Kang-Chien (1940-2013)
Born in Gulang Island, Chiu Kang-Chien migrated to Taiwan in 1949. In 1965, he started a magazine about theatre with his friends, who were strong advocates of modern theatre and cinema from the West. He became a screenwriter in Hong Kong, working with directors in the likes of Chang Cheh, Chor Yuen, Ann Hui and Stanley Kwan. As a director, he was known for films such as Tang Dynasty Beautiful Male (1985) and Ming Ghost (1990), which showcase his avant-garde sensibilities. His overall style is memorable for his focus on sensuality and idiosyncrasies.