Menu

REBELS OF THE NEON GOD

REBELS OF THE NEON GOD

Featured as part of:

REBELS OF THE NEON GOD

  • Directed by Tsai Ming-Liang
  • Starring Lee Kang-Sheng, Lu Yi-Ching, Tien Miao, Chen Chao-Jung, Jen Chang-Bin
  • presented as part of Queer East Festival 2023
  • 1992 | 106mins | Taiwan | rated (18TBC)

Director Tsai Ming-Liang's debut feature is a masterful exploration of urban alienation and sexual malaise, widely regarded as one of the best Taiwanese films of all time. The parallel stories are about teenager Hsiao Kang, who feels stifled living at home with his parents, and petty thief Ah-Tze, the object of the teenager’s obsessive hero-worship. One of the quintessential Taipei films, Rebels of the Neon God captures a transformative moment in the city’s history, as the decaying architecture of the nationalist era gives way to way to technological modernisation, video game arcades, and shiny new shopping malls. Foregrounding themes of queer desire, the film introduced cinemagoers to Tsai’s signature minimalist style, and to his muse, actor Lee Kang-Sheng, who has subsequently appeared in every film made by the director.