Rebels of the Neon God
November 01, 2015, 1:15 PM
Main Street Landing Black Box
60 Lake Street, 3rd floor
Directed by Tsai Ming-liang | Taiwan | Mandarin/Min Nan w/ English subtitles | 1992/2015 | Fiction | 106 mins
Film source: Big World Pictures
Tsai Ming-liang is perhaps the most stylistically audacious director to come of age during the Taiwanese cinema’s “Second New Wave” of the 1990s. Rebels of the Neon God – which made its U.S. theatrical premiere earlier this year, 23 years after its release in Taiwan – marked Tsai’s feature debut, and his first collaboration with actor Lee Kang-sheng, who has starred in all of Tsai’s films to date. Rebels is set on the neon-lit and rain-soaked streets of Taipei, where the disillusioned youth of the city’s underbelly turn to petty crime and cheap thrills to escape the harsh realities of lower-class living. Containing shades of Martin Scorsese’s Mean Streets and Wong Kar-wai’s As Tears Go By, Rebels of the Neon God naturalistically touches on the themes of urban alienation and romantic longing that Tsai would explore in increasingly experimental form throughout his career. Rebels remains Tsai’s most accessible and entertaining film.