Spy and Suspense: Taiwanese-Language Film Festival
Partnering with the UK-based Taiwanese-language film festival "Taiwan's Lost Commercial Cinema: Recovered and Restored," EALC will showcase Six Suspects and The Best Secret Agent as part of our "Spying on East Asia Conference."
Made against the backdrop of the Cold War, these films demonstrate clear foreign influences as well as the filmmakers' endeavor to present the local experience of Taiwan on the silver screen. A perfect combination of noir and spy film, this series will take you on a journey back to 1960s Taiwan with the thrill of passion and mystery.
Film screenings are available for asynchronous viewing online between Feb 21-27, 2021.
SIX SUSPECTS (dir. Lin Tuan-qiu, 1965, 109 min)
A private eye spies on his ex-lover, who is the PA for a steel company chairman. He knows various people’s dirty secrets and decides to start blackmailing them. But when his ex is found dead, he starts to investigate the suspects. This noir adaptation of a Japanese film was never released in the 1960s, but now we have the chance to appreciate this edgy and disturbing depiction of Taipei’s seamy underside during the Martial Law era.
THE BEST SECRET AGENT (dir. Zhang Ying, 1964, 104 min)
This first ever Taiwanese-language spy movie produced in Taiwan has a lot of innocent charm. The Best Secret Agent is a remake of a 1945 movie of the same name that caused a sensation in Shanghai. Fueled by a dog-eat-dog plot and the many changing faces of the protagonist, the film created a new Taiwanese box office record in the early 1960s and kick-started the popularity of the Taiwanese-language spy film genre for years to come.
Chris Berry, professor of film studies at King’s College London and director of the Taiwanese-language Film Festival, will join us for a webinar discussion of the films on February 27 (separate registration required).
Sponsored by the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures; Taiwan Ministry of Education; King's College London; Ministry of Culture, Taiwan; Taiwan Film Institute
Event is free and open to the public.