Monday, March 28, 2016

Taiwanese movie Rebels of the Neon God (青少年哪吒) at Carnegie Library in Oakland, April 3.

The 1992 Taiwanese movie Rebels of the Neon God (青少年哪吒) will play at the Carnegie Library in Oakland on April 3, next month's installment of International Cinema Sunday. The movie was released in the United States in April 2015, 23 years after it premiered in Taiwan. A summary, from a Philadelphia Inquirer review last summer:
There's no better way to dive into [filmmaker Ming-liang] Tsai's world than with his stunning debut, Rebels of the Neon God (1992), which finally is getting its first theatrical release in America.

A breathtaking, disturbing look at urban angst and the emptiness of youth culture, the film introduces us to a character who haunts so many of Tsai's Taipei films: Hsiao-kang (played by the director's longtime collaborator, Lee Kang-sheng), a somber, surly, silent, often petulant youth who doesn't seem to feel at ease anywhere he goes.

When we first see him, Hsiao-kang seems an earnest, if frustrated, college student who works hard into the night. He shares a tidy flat with his taxi-driver father, who makes no attempt to understand - or even like - the youth. His overprotective mother seems never to tire of consulting augers and priests about her son's future.

Appearances can be deceptive. Hsiao-kang doesn't think he fits in at school, and early in the film, he drops out, pocketing a large tuition refund without telling his parents. He spends hours wandering the streets on foot or on his moped and seems incapable or unwilling to connect with others.
The movie starts at 2:00 pm in Classroom A, and is free and open to the public. The library, the main branch of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, is located in Oakland at 4400 Forbes Ave. (map).