Taiwanese film productions started a long time ago during the colonial period. These films have been identified as the tools that have been used to shape the development of the Taiwan society at each era (Yeh, Davis, & Yeh, 79). Two of the films from the Taiwan film industry are The Personals and Au revoir Taipei. The two films were scripted and shot in Taiwan and fully demonstrated some of the contextual art that the film industry embraces. The Personals and Au revoir Taipei films have different aspects that they share and can be compared while their textual evidence is available to demonstrate how they facilitate the current scholarships.
Comparison of themes from the films
After watching the two films The Personals and Au revoir Taipei, one of the themes of the films that are comparable is the theme of love. In the personals film, the main character is a woman by the name Du. Throughout the entire film, Du happens to be conducting interviews with different men from which she hopes to a love of her life. She gets to interview different men ranging from a foot fetishist, a pimp, a personal defense, a salesman, and even her old college professor. Finally, she decides to settle on one whom she feels will satisfy her love life. On the other hand in the film Au revoir Taipei’s (2:10), the main character is known as Kai who is described to be a young man who is sick of love. She bids farewell to her girlfriend who went abroad to study in Paris. One day Kai decides to learn French with the aim of following her girlfriend to France due to his love for her. However, while studying French at a local library, he gets to fell in love with another girl by the name Susie.
Another theme that is comparable to the two Taiwan films is that of isolation. In the film Au revoir Taipei (6:45), Kai is left in isolation after her one and only girlfriend who goes abroad to France to extend her studies. This isolation becomes too much for him to the extent that he decided to study French and follow him to Paris. In the local library, he is also isolated until to that point where they start becoming affectionate with Susie. On the other film of The Personals, isolation is also demonstrated in different ways. First Du lives a lonely life where we are not given any detail of people she was associated with at a personal level. Secondly, the interviews with the different men are done in an isolated area where we only see her and the person being interviewed.
Textual evidence refers to the descriptions of texts used in a specific film. This is abundantly present in the two films from the Taiwan film industry. In the film The Personal (45:23), this is evident throughout especially when Du is conducting her interviews. This is where when each man appears for an interview a small text of his details is provided in writing on the screens. The text contains the name, age, and profession of the participant. In the film Au revoir Taipei (56:39), the film contains subtitles of textual nature that are used to describe whatever the characters in the film are saying. These textual explanations in the film are written in Mandarin Chinese which seems to be the same language that the characters use to communicate in the film. The advantages of the use of the textual evidence in these and any other films are that they simplify the verbal part of the movie for the viewer who might not be familiar with the original language. Additional they help in the confirmation of some saying that might be said by the cast of the film that might not be clear to the viewer.
The Taiwan cinema and film industry have taken a massive step in the progression and the changing of the 21st global movie industry. This is different from what was there before the colonial period where the filmmakers did not have the required resources to produce their movies and also lacked enough workforce with the expertise on the film making. Today the film industry has taken a new level where film making is being studied in different learning institutions as a course. People are also getting scholarships in Taiwan to explore more on the film industry by different organizations(Yeh, Davis, & Yeh, 25). This has been reflected in the quality of films that are being produced by the Taiwan film industry. Many people now have taken up the film work as their full-time career demonstrating the impact Taiwan filming industry as a whole has had on individuals lives.
The two films The Personals and Au revoir Taipei are an accurate reflection of the Taiwan films although the two are from some time back from now. However, the characters, the setting of the film and the mode of acting that they use are still being used in today’s films. Both films are comedy movies which adopt a romantic theme to them to reach the viewers more. Many of the Taiwan films are used to pass messages to society using the local dialect. The path that the Taiwan film industry is taking is a commendable one and in some years to come it will be hitting the global scenes with a storm. This is also an advantage to the upcoming artists and youth who would like to join the filmmaking industry since it will provide many opportunities for them.
Au revoir Taipei. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppz0vbHJYO4
The Personals full movie
Yeh, Emilie Yueh-yu, Darrell William Davis, and Yueh-yu Yeh. Taiwan film directors: A treasure island. Columbia University Press, 2005.