Dangerous Youth

Taiwan|1969|B&W|95 min|Digital|Taiwanese|Chi & Eng subtitles
One of the titles in Taiwan Cinema Digital Restoration Project 2014; restored in HD quality from the 35mm B&W print.
28.05.2020 (Thu) 19:50 BC

Screening with Alienation

Dir: Hsin Chi
Scr: Hsin Chi, Chang Hung-Chi
Cinematographer: Liao Ching-Sung
Cast: Shih Ying, Cheng Hsiao-Fen, Kao Hsing-Chih

Released during the decline of Taiwanese-language Cinema, Dangerous Youth is seen as the classic that packs the hardest punch. It represents the ambitious and unique milieu of Taiwanese-language Cinema. A playboy lures a girl who has a crush on him to work in an establishment of ill repute while he becomes the plaything of a wealthy woman. The characters seek to satisfy their desires and greed, showing how youth is anything but romantic by using it as a currency in this lustful network. Compared to the Cantonese/Mandarin films of the same era, this film is not interested in the balance of familial relationship, but instead its characters is an imitation of the youth of Japanese ‘taiyozoku’ and French New Wave. They indulge in decadent behaviours, violence and sex, as the film pulls no punches in its lively portrayals of these subjects. Men exploit women yet women still hold the power to spurn them. Motorcycles and sports cars are signs of wealth as well as sexual influence in a battle of the sexes that is full of surprises. Unlike your run of the mill youth films, this gem is mature in its core because it depicts the darkness of human nature and cycle of crime in a realistic setting. In the late 1960s, films around the world evolved rapidly and genres were mixed with exciting results. This Days of Being Wild of Taiwanese-language films broke new grounds for Taiwan’s commercial cinema. Interestingly, the story is set in another city that is familiar to the audience.

Hsin Chi (1924-2010)
Hsin Chi, whose real name was Hsin Chin-Chuan, was born in the Wanhua District of Taipei. He studied drama at Nihon University in Japan. In 1957, he began to direct Taiwanese-language films, including The Bride Who Has Returned From Hell (1965), Encounter at the Station (1965) and The Rice Dumpling Vendors (1969). In 2000, he was honoured as a distinguished director by the Directors Guild of Taiwan and received Golden Horse Award for Lifetime Achievement.