By Guo-Juin Hong (auth.)
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Extra resources for Taiwan Cinema: A Contested Nation on Screen
6 If the colony was deemed to have lagged behind, this new discovery successfully closed the time gap by a year. ”7 History is never short of irony, however. As further research continued to unearth heretofore buried facts mostly from newspaper advertisements and some fragmented reports, more and more documents surfaced to suggest that film exhibitions in Taiwan had taken place earlier. 8 Encouraged by these new historical findings, Ye Long-Yan dug deeper into the colonial archives and was greeted by an even greater surprise.
Once we understand the multiple forces that shaped Taiwan’s films up through the 1970s, we will be ready to engage with Taiwan’s New Cinema in the 1980s and beyond. Pre-1945 colonial cinema was a significant step taken in that direction. 2 Cinema among Genres: An Unorthodox History of Taiwan’s Dialect Cinema, 1955–1970 Many puzzles have intrigued, if also befuddled, historians of Taiwan’s colonial film history. One area of confusion is caused by the difficult conditions of “film history without film” and “national cinema without nation” in the colonial period described in chapter 1.
Racing for the National Origin in Colonial Time To start let us ask this: When was film first introduced to Taiwan? The history of how such a seemingly straightforward question has been answered demonstrates great intrigue and sheds much light on Taiwan’s film historiography. 1 Many publications after Lu simply copied that date without verifying it. Du Yun-Zhi’s The Film History of China is a significant case in point. First published in 1972 and winner of the grand prize of the Chiang Kai-Shek Literary Awards later in 1975, Du’s book was reprinted in 1988 under the auspices of the Council for Cultural Affairs, a government department under the Administrative Yuan.