Arts & Culture


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2022/03/28 | CJ Sheu

‘Microhabitat’ Is an Ozu Adaptation in Both Story and Heart

No matter how desperate Mi-so’s situation is, she’s always more concerned for those around her. Our view of her suggests that the critique is not just of modernity, but of contemporary capitalism.

2022/03/21 | CJ Sheu

‘The Dawn of Everything’ Is a (Qualified) Masterpiece

‘The Dawn of Everything’ not only shows that there are alternatives to neoliberal patriarchal settler capitalism. It tells a compelling story of how we “got stuck” where we are now.

2022/02/19 | CJ Sheu

Boredom Gives Rise to Experimentation in ‘The Cloud in Her Room’

Films in the quarter-life crisis genre often treat the drifting ennui of young adulthood as an aberration, or at most a regrettable rite of passage. But what if the ennui itself is what gets you through?

2022/01/04 | CJ Sheu

‘Being the Ricardos’ Turns ‘I Love Lucy’ into the Nicole Kidman Show

‘Being the Ricardos’ has divided critics on everything but one point: Nicole Kidman is a revelation.

2021/12/16 | TNL Feature

Taipei’s First Vegan Drag Brunch Aims To Bring Christmas Cheer to All

“This drag show is a first. We love to push the boundaries of drag, expanding on the typical consecutive lip syncing battle to bring in more real storytelling.”

2021/12/09 | CJ Sheu

‘Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy’ Encapsulates the Odd Vicissitudes of Life

Winner of the Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival, ‘Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy’ is a three-part anthology film full of incident, confidently walking a fine line between realism in acting and melodrama in plot.

2021/11/24 | Darice D. Chang

Go Go Rise Final Concert Celebrates Women in Punk Rock, Commemorates Late Vocalist

Mei, a vivacious vocalist and trumpeter of punk ska-rock outfit Go Go Rise, passed away in May. In her final days her band received a coveted grant from Taiwan’s Ministry of Culture, and Mei was posthumously recognized at the Golden Melody Awards this year. The band will hold a farewell concert on Saturday, November 27, 2021.

2021/11/11 | James Baron

Fisherman’s Friend? Film Festival Documentary Fails To Lift Lid on Industry Abuses

The films on migrant workers at the Taipei International Labor Film Festival represent progress. But their unrealized artistic and political potential makes their flaws all the more disappointing.

2021/09/13 | Anthony Kao

‘Blue Bayou’ Achingly Dramatizes Plight of US Transnational Adoptees, but Will it Resonate Today?

Asian American director Justin Chon’s latest film offers an artistic take on a tragic loophole in U.S. immigration law—but how will Biden-era America receive it?

2021/08/30 | CJ Sheu

The Unexplored Existential Angst of ‘Night Drive’

Between the trendy conceits of time travel and taxi drivers taken hostage, ‘Night Drive’ is an original and weird tale.

2021/07/06 | CJ Sheu

‘Longing for the Rain’ Makes You Long for a Shorter Film

Shot in Beijing and Changchun, Longing for the Rain’s explicit treatment of female desire clearly distinguishes it as a Hong Kong film.

2021/06/16 | Bryan Chou

A Taiwanese Mural Artist’s Journey Home

For his solo exhibition in Taiwan, Wang Liang traveled to cities and towns he had never set foot upon, on the lookout for images characterizing the people and their surroundings in the place he had come to feel, in some sense, that he had never left.

2021/06/16 | CJ Sheu

‘River of Exploding Durians’ Makes a Virtue of a Small Budget

On the surface a critique of Malaysian political corruption and societal acquiescence — and it still is that — ‘River of Exploding Durians’ is grounded in one young man’s devastation at losing everyone he cares about.

2021/06/10 | Xiaochen Su

A Yutori Dystopia: Izumi Suzuki’s ‘Terminal Boredom’

In exploring life in distinct science fictionalized futures, Izumi Suzuki’s stories take on a dystopian tinge, one that presages an entire generation of Japan’s youth.