culture & entertainment

Minari: A Film About the Asian American Working Class

No Man is An Island

If you are like me and consider Crazy Rich Asians one of the worst Asian American films ever made, you might very well enjoy Minari.

When in Taiwan: The Color of Your Skin

No Man Is An Island

The subconscious works in strange ways. It lurks beneath the skin. It festers and grows and takes root. It’s a disturbing thought, truly.

A Glimpse into the Life of a Hong Kong Everyman in the Midst of Protest

No Man is An Island

The short film, Night is Young (夜更), directed by Kwok Zune, follows a Hong Kong taxi driver on one night in 2019, sometime during the protests that broke out in reaction to a proposed extradition bill.

Banned Taiwanese Pop Songs Under Japanese Rule And Nationalist Martial Law

Taiwan Gazette

Pop songs in Taiwan have been an inseparable element in people’s everyday life. How was its rise and popularity linked to Japanese colonial governance in Taiwan?

Review: Taiwanese Shakespeare Adaptation “As We Like It” Subverts Traditional Theatrical Gender-Bending

No Man Is An Island

In many ways, the marriage of William Shakespeare’s gender-bending pastoral comedies and the whimsical antics of Taiwanese dramas is a match made in As We Like It’s heaven-on-earth.

Review: The Magician on the Skywalk

No Man Is An Island

The Magician on the Skywalk (天橋上的魔術師), a televised adaptation of Wu Ming-yi’s collection of short stories by the same name, premiered to much fanfare earlier in the week.

Taiwan’s “Chinese Professional Baseball League” Should Change Its Name

Ketagalan

While the regions generally dominating the sports industry postponed or scaled back sports events, Taiwan has handled the pandemic so efficiently that sport league games continued.

The Dignity of Everyday Existence: Chen Cheng-Hsiung’s Anping, Peace, People Preliminary Exhibition

No Man Is An Island

I'd like to start this review with a disclaimer that though I try to be as objective as possible in my evaluation of Chen Cheng-Hsiung’s work, I might be biased.

I Dream of Popo is the Taiwanese American story of all generations

TaiwaneseAmerican.org

“I Dream of Popo,” shaped by a triumvirate of Taiwanese American women such as Livia Blackburne, reasonates with transnational, Taiwanese families all over the diaspora.

Rebellion, Loyalty, and Paths into Adulthood: Entering the Lifeworlds of Wanhua's Wondering Youths

Taiwan Insight

These wandering youth, or lōng-liu-lian 浪溜嗹 youth, are continually challenging and rejecting social expectations.

Reflecting on the Critical Success of Your Name Engraved Herein (刻在你心底的名字)

No Man Is An Island

Elliott and Nicholas, two avid fans of this year’s smash hit Taiwanese queer romance share with you some insights from their many viewings of the film in theatres.

Give Him a Kite to Go Home: An Interview with Tsai Tsung-Lng About his Pilot Documentary 'Nine Shots'

Taiwan Insight

On 30 October 2020, the Taiwan Studies Programme hosted a webinar after the online screening of a pilot documentary Nine Shots (槍響之前) directed by Tsai Tsung-lung.

Review: Little Big Women (孤味)

New Bloom Magazine

Little Big Woman, directed by Joseph Chen-Chieh Hsu (許承傑), is a film powerfully evocative of the experiences of many Taiwanese families.

Golden Melody Awards 2020 – Best Mandarin Album

Ketagalan Media

There are six nominees for Best Mandarin Album this year. Five are from female singers showcasing once again the dominance of female singers in Mandopop.

The Formosa Coffee Brings Taiwan-grown Beans to US

TaiwaneseAmerican.org

During the past decade, Taiwan’s burgeoning coffee scene has gained more attention, but the stories from news articles have tended towards the creative cafes and talented baristas who import quality beans from other major producers in the world.

“Bubble Tea Kingdom”: How Did It All Start?

Taiwan Gazette

Bubble tea and handmade drink shops are an indispensable part of Taiwanese food culture.

Queer Desire and Death

No Man Is An Island

In the hands of a lesser director, Wrath of Desire (愛・殺) would not be the sum of its parts.

A Forgotten Period in Taiwanese History and Its Last Witness

No Man is An Island

Hashima has been living on Iriomote Island from when she was ten years old and is 92-years-old during the course of the film. By the film’s release in 2021, Hashima had already passed away.

Zombies in the Taiwanese Legislature?

No Man Is An Island

Get The Hell Out is an absurdist zombie comedy that starts out well enough.

Review: A First Farewell (第一次的離別)

No Man Is An Island

A First Farewell is shot in Wang’s hometown of Shaya, Wang being a Han director that grew up in Xinjiang.

Film Review: Tenet

No Man Is An Island

Much like the ideal painter Machiavelli describes, Christopher Nolan, as an artist, investigates his subject matter thoroughly in The Dark Knight and suggests its continuation in Tenet.

(Book Review) The People, No: A Brief History of Anti-Populism

No Man Is An Island

In 2016, Trump shocked liberal Democrats. They should not have been shocked.

REGIONAL: Reading Havel in Hong Kong—And Arendt in Bangkok

No Man Is An Island

What follows, written at a time when news emerged from Hong Kong and Thailand of young activists facing prison time, is the English original of the preface of Vigil: Hong Kong on the Brink.

Staging Hakka-ness: ‘Stir-fry’ and its Path to New Identities

No Man Is A Island

Hakka stir-fry, a traditional dish made with dried squid, pork belly, celery and spring onions, embodies the journey from mountainous areas in China to Taiwan.

Review: Cracks and Glimmers Photography (裂縫.微光——勢必與屋共亡的攝影展)

No Man Is A Island

“CRACKS AND GLIMMERS PHOTOGRAPHY” is a rare opportunity for anyone interested in photography, social movements, issues around gentrification, and the broader struggle for equality.

New Wave Mandarin City-Folk: Leon Zheng’s Museum of Tears

Ketagalan

Out of the many young male singer-songwriters that have emerged in the Mandarin music scene in recent years, one of the most refreshing voices is Leon Zheng.

Announcing the Launch of No Man is An Island!

New Bloom Magazine

No Man Is An Island is a new blog focused on the connections between everyday life and politics, writing on Taiwan and other peripheral places in the world at the margins.

Review: The Silent Forest (無聲)

New Bloom Magazine

THE SILENT FOREST (無聲), based on real events regarding sexual assault cases in a hearing-impaired school in Tainan, is a powerful debut by a daring director.

Review: The Good Daughter

New Bloom Magazine

The Good Daughter is an observational and interview-based documentary film made in the vérité tradition.

Mulan Proves to Be Apologia for Statist Nationalism, Patriarchy, and Ethnic Cleansing

New Bloom Magazine

To borrow a phrase commonly used in Chinese Communist Party (CCP) parlance, Disney’s recently released live-action remake of Mulan must have originally seemed like an instance of “win-win cooperation” to Disney and the Chinese government.

Animatronic Hells and Goddesses with GPS

New Bloom

Temple Festivals in Taiwan often seem to be a mixture of the sacred and the profane.

Haunted by the Ghosts of Taiwan’s Colonial Past

No Man is An Island

Green Grass, Pale Fire (草地火焰) follows three Taiwanese runaway miners in 1935 who are on the run from the Japanese army.

Everyone is An Island

No Man is An Island

The male was obviously a Frenchman—who else would so assumedly wear bleu marinière shorts over pasty-white-but-not-so-tight skin in the tropics.

Which Ways Forward for Green Politics in Taiwan?

No Man Is An Island

Dafydd Fell's recent academic monograph, Taiwan’s Green Parties is not to be missed for those who are interested in or who study party politics in Taiwan.

Review: Pebbles

No Man Is An Island

Pebbles is an understated and modest film, minimalist in plot—and it is a short one, clocking in at one hour and fifteen minutes.

REGIONAL: The inexplicable ongoingness of life

Lausan

Memories to Choke On' is a wry, loving vision of Hong Kong’s traumatic absurdities, a rigged system that is at once laughable and full of grief

What to Watch: Taiwanese Shows & Movies on Netflix Now

TaiwaneseAmerican.org

From the iconic Taiwanese series "The Prince Who Turns into a Frog" to the highest-grossing LGBTQ+ film in Taiwanese history, watch out for Netflix’s Taiwanese lineup.

Hung Tung: A Painter with a Curious Brush

No Man Is An Island

The Tainan Art Museum’s solo exhibition on Hung Tung is quite comprehensive, with not only key pieces on display but also information about the media frenzy surrounding the artist.

Interview: Charles Yu

No Man Is A Island

"Invisibility does something on a subconscious level to all of us. I see what’s on-screen, it’s black, it’s white—so I think the media representations of Asians or the lack of it is important."

The Many Strangers of Bangka

No Man Is An Island

The thing about living in a city I really love is how many interesting characters there are. And you’ll never know them all, no matter how hard you try.

The Best of the “Best of 2020” Lists

TaiwaneseAmerican.org

During this most challenging year, inspirational stories have kept our spirits up. Now, with the year’s end in sight, the annual superlatives lists have started popping up, and we’ve taken note

Review: Classmate Minus

New Bloom Magazine

Classmate Minus is a competent second effort, and the same aesthetic and political preoccupations persist in Classmate Minus as in The Great Buddha +.

Review: The Painting of Evil (惡之畫)

New Bloom Magazine

THE PAINTING OF EVIL (惡之畫) may not be the strongest film in terms of execution, but it is one that proves daring in terms of its subject matter.

Director Zero Chou on “Spider Lilies” and the Evolution of Taiwanese Queer Cinema

TaiwaneseAmerican.org

Zero Chou is the director of Spider Lilies, a compelling psychodrama released in 2007 that explores Taiwan’s online culture in the early 21st century. It remains influential to this day as one of the earliest queer films in Taiwan.