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Taiwan’s Lost Commercial Cinema Comes to the UK and Continental Europe

The international symposium will take place on 7 October (Saturday), at the Council Room, 2.29 King’s Building, Strand Campus, King’s College London, 10am–5pm.

Did you know regular filmmaking on Taiwan only started in the 1950s? With a Taiwanese-language film industry? Between then and the 1970s, 1000+ Taiwanese-language features were made. However, the budgets were miniscule, the companies short-lived, and there was no archive. They were quickly forgotten, and only 200+ survive. However, with the establishment of the Chinese Taipei Film Archive in 1979 and the end of martial law in 1987, Taiwanese-language cinema of the 1950s–1970s, once seen as a disposable entertainment, is now being revalued as an art form and window on old Taiwan.

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the first Taiwanese-language film in 2016, Professor Chris Berry (King’s College London) and Dr. Ming-yeh T. Rawnsley (Centre of Taiwan Studies, SOAS) have co-organised the “Taiwan’s Lost Commercial Cinema: Recovered and Restored” project, jointly supported by the Ministry of Culture of the ROC (Taiwan), King’s College London and the Taiwan Film Institute (previously Chinese Taipei Film Archive). The project will bring 7 scholars together for an international symposium at King’s College London in October 2017, launching a screening tour across the UK and continental Europe featuring 10 films.

The international symposium will take place on 7 October (Saturday), at the Council Room, 2.29 King’s Building, Strand Campus, King’s College London, 10am–5pm. Speakers include Professor Gene-Fon Liao (National Taiwan University of Arts), Professor Chris Berry (King’s College London), Dr. Ming-Yeh Rawnsley (SOAS), Ms. Teresa Huang (Taiwan Film Institute), Ms. Evelyn Shih (University of California, Berkeley), Associate Professor Jeremy Taylor (University of Nottingham), and Associate Professor Wang Chun-Chi (National Dong Hwa University). For details of the symposium and registration, please follow this link: https://taiyupian.uk/the-symposium/

The screening tour offers free admission and is open to all. Participating cities, countries, institutions and tour dates are as follows:

·       UK 

o   King’s College London, 7–8 October 2017 -- 5 films with talks
o   SOAS, University of London, 9–10 October 2017 -- 2 films with talks
o   Aberystwyth Arts Centre, 9 October 2017 -- 1 film with talk
o   Chinese Film Forum UK, Manchester -- 2 films with talk
o   University of Edinburgh, 12 October–9 November 2017 -- 5 films with talks
o   University of Nottingham, 20 October 2017 -- 1 film with talk

 ·       Continental Europe

o  University of Ljubljana (Slovenia), 12 October 2017  1 film with talk
o  Jagellonian University, Krakow (Poland), 13–14 October 2017 -- 4 films with talk
o  University of Vienna (Austria), 3–4 November 2017 -- 4 films with talk
o  University of Tubingen (Germany), 4 November 2017 -- 4 films with talks
o  University of Lund (Sweden), 16 November 2017 --1 film with talk
o  University of Helsinki (Finland), 12 September 2018 -- 1 film

For further screening details of individual cities, please follow this link: https://taiyupian.uk/the-screening-tour/

The Films (in chronological order)

The films featured in the “Taiwan’s Lost Commercial Cinema” project cover a variety of genres, ranging from horror/whodunit to melodramas of modernity and development, martial arts films, spy movies, Aesop’s Fables-style children’s film, star-vehicle dramas with pop songs, and comedies. In addition, a documentary (The Lost Kingdom) made in 1999 offers an interesting insight into the close relationship between Taiwanese opera troupes and the Taiwanese-language film industry in the 1950s and the 1960s. All films have English subtitles:

  • 王哥柳哥遊台灣 (Brother Wang and Brother Liu Tour Taiwan, 1958, dir. Li Xing)
  • 大俠梅花鹿 (The Fantasy of the Deer Warrior, 1961, dir. Zhang Ying)
  • 台北發的早車 (Early Train from Taipei, 1964, dir. Liang Zhefu)
  • 天字第一號 (The Best Secret Agent, 1964, dir. Zhang Ying)
  • 地獄新娘 (The Bride Who Has Returned from Hell, 1965, dir. Xin Qi)
  • 三鳳震武林 (Vengeance of the Phoenix Sisters, 1967, dir. Chen Hongmin)
  • 再見台北 (Goodbye, Taipei, 1969, dir. Xu Fengzhong)
  • 危險的青春 (Dangerous Youth, 1969, dir. Xin Qi)
  • 回來安平港 (Back to Anping Harbor, 1972, dir. Wu Feijian)
  • 消失的王國 (The Lost Kingdom, 1999, dir. Li Xiangxiu)


For further details of each film, please follow this link: https://taiyupian.uk/the-films/

If you are interested in the international symposium in London, the screening tour across the UK and Europe, or if you have any queries about the project, please consult our website: https://taiyupian.uk/ or contact the project organisers Chris Berry (chris.berry@kcl.ac.uk) and Ming-Yeh Rawnsley (mytrawnsley@gmail.com)

Vienna Center for Taiwan Studies

Department of East Asian Studies
University of Vienna
AAKH-Campus, Hof 2, Entrance 2.3
Spitalgasse 2
1090 Vienna Austria

Contact: Astrid Lipinsky
T: +43-1-4277-43844
University of Vienna | Universitätsring 1 | 1010 Vienna | T +43-1-4277-0
Lastupdate: 09.08.2017 - 21:57