Original/Alternative title: 青少年哪吒
Director: Tsai Ming-liang
Runtime: 106 min
Language: Mandarin, Taiwanese with English Subtitles
SPECIAL JURY PRIZE
Singapore International Film Festival 1994
Tokyo International Film Festival 1993
BEST FEATURE FILM
Torino International Festival of Young Cinema 1993
BEST FIRST FILM
Nantes Three Continents Festival 1993
BEST ORIGINAL FILM SCORE
Golden Horse Film Festival 1992
In the gritty underbelly of a booming, neon-lit metropolis, a disaffected taxi-driver’s son drops school, crossing paths with a pair of freewheeling petty criminals. Cruising through video game arcades and disco roller rinks, tuition cram centres and roadside restaurants, the film registers the decadence of youthful desire and ennui in 1990s Taipei.
The first feature film by Taiwanese Second New Wave director Tsai Ming-liang, Rebels of the Neon God sets forth elements of his signature style: pared-back dialogue, parallel narratives, and lingering, almost voyeuristic shots. The film’s Chinese title refers to the youngest of the Chinese deities, Nezha, whose spirit of defiance—he dismembers his flesh and bones, presenting them to his parents in the ultimate act of teenage rebellion—is reincarnated in the film’s protagonists.
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