Rebels of the Neon God. 1992. Taiwan. Directed by Tsai Ming-Liang. With Lee Kang-Sheng, Lu Yi-Ching, Tien Miao, Chen Chao-Jung, Jen Chang-Bin. DCP. In Taiwanese, Mandarin; English subtitles. 106 min.
Tsai’s debut, about a juvenile delinquent roaming the streets of Taipei, marks the first appearance of Hsiao Kang, a recurring character played by Lee Kang-Sheng. Rebels of the Neon God puts the youth culture of Taipei at center stage; video game arcades, shopping malls, shady street corners come to life. Despite the seemingly vibrant environment, a sense of alienation is evident, and this theme would continue to inspire Tsai in his later films. Screening here in a digital restoration.