By Lai Kun-Yu
There are a lot of bad films in theater right now, but none of them are similar to “Story in Taipei”. Mostly, what makes a movie terrible includes bad script, stiff performances, or unreal CGI. But it is really rare to see a film sucking in every aspect.
Weird camera movements, shots without focus, and unreasonable lighting, technical flaws that shouldn’t even appear, are all put into the big screen. Combined with a story without any logic and bad performances, “Story in Taipei”, literally, is the lowest quality film in Taiwanese cinema history.
The story line is about a car accident that triggers a series of events. From love affairs, to bribes, to housing problems, the director wants to tell everything in this film, ending up with a screenplay with so many problems, and no sense at all. However, this movie is surprisingly fun to watch.
Through its technical flaws and bad story, this film creates an absurd feeling that can’t be reproduced. However, these shortcomings have a unique effect on the audience, who, eventually, realize that this is not a regular movie. Thus, a terrible production transforms into a unique cinema experience. Audiences accept the problems, turning them into the art style of this film. They become excited about when the next weird editing or strange dialogues will show up. In other words, “Story in Taipei” is so wrong that its problems become the feature of film.
Furthermore, the reaction of the viewers’ makes this film more interesting. Initially, all the film critics who were invited to see it gave negative reviews, because of its poor quality. However, when normal people watch the movie, they find the absurdity very entertaining. They laugh, scream or shout for these unreasonable mistakes. As more and more crowd comes to the movie theater, their laughter turns into a kind of energy, making the film more absurd.
Those who sit in front of big screen are no longer only viewers anymore. They actually take part in the world of “Story in Taipei.” Their emotions complete the film, and give another aspect to interpret the meaning of the plot. Therefore, the film transforms into a modern art work, allowing audience to create the content with their laughter. As a result, it becomes a unique experience that only happens in theater.
There are more and more people becoming hardcore fans of this film. They memorized dialogue and have a conversation with the characters while watching films. Even though it doesn’t suit our imagination of “Cult Film” genre, fans’ behaviors make it look like a cult film. It’s bad, weird and rough, but it is also fun to watch. It’s a wonderful and strange experience that movie lovers shouldn’t miss.