LA County Museum presents Hoklo films to celebrate AAPIs

  • Writer, with CNA, LOS ANGELES

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art is set to screen several restored Hoklo-language films from the 1960s as part of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month.

The “Dreaming Impossible Dreams” virtual movie series consists of streaming six Taiwanese black and white movies, including The Husband’s Secret (丈夫的秘密), Fantasy of the Deer Warrior (大俠梅花鹿), Little Heroes vs Two Masked Villains (雙雄大鬥雙假面), Romance at Lungshan Temple (龍山寺之戀), The Best Secret Agent (天字第一號), and Six Suspects (六個嫌疑犯).

The low-budget films were among more than 1,200 black-and-white films featuring primarily Hoklo (commonly known as Taiwanese) speaking actors in the 1950s and 1960s, but only about 200 of the films from that era have been identified and cataloged, the museum said in a statement.

Photo: ANC

The online series, which runs from May 18 to 31, “completely shatters preconceptions about the Taiwanese New Wave and Second New Wave periods” of cinema, the museum said.

Although they were made during the time of martial law, when the government promoted films that focused on “positive themes” and “traditional values”, these films explored themes of desire, lust, adventure and fantasy.

“The 1960s were the golden age of Taiwanese-language film production, but most of the reels were lost or destroyed,” the Taiwan Academy of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Los Angeles said Friday. .

A small selection of films are being restored by the Taiwan Film and Audiovisual Institute to make them suitable for theatrical screening, the museum said.

As part of a digital restoration project, the institute has in recent years helped restore films from that era, the academy said.

The upcoming screening would be the museum’s first time showing Hoklo films to celebrate AAPI Heritage Month.

To help overseas audiences better understand Taiwanese films, the series’ curators produced six “bonus content” videos, featuring guests such as Taiwanese-American author Charles Yu (游朝凱), who won the National Book Award 2020 for his novel Interior Chinatown and also wrote for the HBO series Westworld.

Although the online series is free, viewers must confirm their attendance at www.lacma.org/event/dreaming.

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