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Short Film Review: Do Not Go Gentle in Taipei (2021) by Wang Yi-Ling

Do Not Go Gentle in Taipei (2021) by Wang Yi-Ling
"Want to mix it up a bit?"

Winner of a Golden Bell Award for Best Television film in 2022, “” is an LGBT films in its base, which moves, however, in a number of different genre paths.

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The story begins in a club filled with strobing lights, loud music, and people dancing. Xiao Ann and Mimi, who seem to be a couple are talking about guys flirting with them. Mimi seems to want to also include a guy in their company, something that Xiao Ann reluctantly agrees to. They pick a guy, A-kai, who is just sitting and watching and the three soon start hanging out in nighttime Taipei, even if the ‘newcomer's' profession sounds a bit shady. It seems that Mimi never had sex with a guy, and that is why they were searching for someone. The three eventually end up in a hotel room, but things do not go exactly as planned, on a number of levels.

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directs a film that starts as a lesbian youth drama, then switches to a road movie, then to an erotic one, before it becomes a crime one, with the transition between the genres being quite smooth, in a testament to both her direction and the excellent editing by her and Chang Ya Ting. The pace is also quite well implemented, with the speed picking up according to the narrative, and the two running scenes setting the tempo nicely. Chen Ko-chin's cinematography is one of the best assets of the short, with him presenting the various settings (club, the street, the hotel room, the convenience store) in the most impressive fashion, benefitting the most by the coloring and the lighting in order to show a series of truly appealing images.

In terms of context, the night life of Taipei is depicted in a fashion that leans more towards entertainment, while the difficulties relationships present in a setting where sex is quite easy to happen emerges as the central comment here. Lastly, how the underworld operates, which also includes a subtle jab towards China is also highlighted, again with a focus on entertainment.

as Mimi highlights both her playful eagerness for a new experience and her reluctance quite convincingly, with the same applying to as Xiao-an, who highlights her disgruntlement in subtle but eloquent fashion. as A-kai has an easier role, but is also good, with the chemistry of the three being among the movie's best traits.

“Do Not Go Gentle in Taipei” is fun, entertaining and rather well shot, and a testament that genre filmmaking can also be quite successful in the short format.

About the author

Panos Kotzathanasis

My name is Panos Kotzathanasis and I am Greek. Being a fan of Asian cinema and especially of Chinese kung fu and Japanese samurai movies since I was a little kid, I cultivated that love during my adolescence, to extend to the whole of SE Asia.

Starting from my own blog in Greek, I then moved on to write for some of the major publications in Greece, and in a number of websites dealing with (Asian) cinema, such as Taste of Cinema, Hancinema, EasternKicks, Chinese Policy Institute, and of course, Asian Movie Pulse. in which I still continue to contribute.

In the beginning of 2017, I launched my own website, Asian Film Vault, which I merged in 2018 with Asian Movie Pulse, creating the most complete website about the Asian movie industry, as it deals with almost every country from East and South Asia, and definitely all genres.

You can follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

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