晨夢 The Dawn Dreams
萬仁 WAN Jen｜臺灣 Taiwan｜1979｜DCP｜Colour｜4min
★1979 Best 16mm Short, Golden Harvest Awards
In an exotic bright and clean apartment, an oriental woman is dreaming at dawn. In the dream, she meets a western-looking man in a park. She wakes up to find him packing up in the apartment. On the spur of the moment, she stabs him with a knife. The clock tick-tocks, but time stands still.
Combining thriller and suspense music with western songs, The Dawn Dreampresents humans’ morning dreams with a plot interweaving subconscious and reality. This film is a powerful early work that demonstrates a different side of WAN before he adopted New Wave Realism in the 80s.
萬仁 WAN Jen｜臺灣 Taiwan｜1981｜DCP｜Colour｜21min
★1981 Excellent 16mm Feature Film, Golden Harvest Awards
The phone rings, breaking the silence of the arena of desire where no one picks up. While dreaming, a man battles his lust until he masturbates. His ego divides into two and his desire is finally given free flow.
Bewilderexpresses overt sexual politics with an experimental approach. Through the emergence and submergence of desire, the film serves as a metonymy for the repressed subjectivity of the id. The images directly reveal a person’s secret lust and inner truth. It is undoubtedly a bold attempt preceding the Taiwan New Wave.
迷林 Labyrinthine Forest
柯一正 KO I-cheng｜臺灣 Taiwan｜1981｜DCP ｜Colour｜22min
★1981 Special Mention 16mm Feature Film, Golden Harvest Awards
On a mountain climbing trip, a man falls into a mysterious forest. In a trance, he beholds a woman in white approaching. Tempted to stay but yearns to escape, he repeats this cycle day and night. Failing to locate the exit, he gradually wanes and ages, finding himself lost both in the forest and in time.
Some critics view the film as a metaphor for marriage; while some see the female protagonist as an inscrutable muse. The filmmaker can only go around in circles in the forest of life, searching for moments of inspiration. Without dialogue, the film conveys the sense of entrapment with a story full of symbolism and audiovisual experiments. A mesmerizing dream composed of superimposed, negative images, and camera movements foretells the filmmaker's later experimental style.
水之絕 The End of Flow
柯一正 KO I-cheng｜臺灣 Taiwan｜ 1981｜ DCP｜Colour｜8min
★1981 Special Mention 16mm Short Film, Golden Harvest Awards
A young wife paces around a dark room. Lust and violence interweave into a fantastical web. Loitering between her lover, husband, and child, her painful memories of abuse continue to emerge. She cuts her wrist with a razor. In her final moments, the wayward feminine powers are recalled once again by patriarchy.
Made in the same year, WAN Jen’s Bewilder and The End of Flowrespectively captured the male and female subconscious energy. Ringtones become the tunnel to connect the exterior reality and the intimate personal experience. The connected or separated arenas of desire are curiously juxtaposed.
曾壯祥 TSENG Chuang-hsiang｜臺灣 Taiwan｜1982｜DCP ｜B&W｜13min
★1983 Excellent 16mm Narrative, Golden Harvest Awards
Chattering school boys first learn of the secret of palm reading. They stare at the overly short lifeline, all of a sudden, the fear of death seeps into their youth. The black and white images exude repression and melancholia, mixed with the angst for mortality and the memory of deceased loved ones. Time flies by like the train speeding past town. With the desire to live, the boys run forward, attempting to break free from destiny.
This is TSENG’s graduation film for his US degree. The story is based on WANG Wen-hsing’s novella Line of Fate.
石昌杰 C. Jay SHIH｜臺灣 Taiwan ｜ 1982｜ DCP｜Colour｜3min
★1983 Best 8mm Animated Film, Golden Harvest Awards
Creatively inspired, but the puppet can’t seem to execute his ideas. After repeatedly revising, he finds himself dominated by his creation instead. A creative beginning results in an unexpected ending. The subjective “human” becomes the object.
This is the director’s first film as a student. It not only expresses the artist’s inner conflict when facing oneself but also illustrates how an ever-growing hunger would alter the initial intention. Moreover, it foretells the recurring theme in SHIH’s later works – facing external adversity and challenges by one’s self. “This is a reflection on the creative work by two young men. Is the so-called ‘inspiration’ in fact a delusion? Inspiration beyond the bounds of imagination could prove to be uncontrollable, and beget a disaster that consumes humans.” - SHIH