Trendy in Taiwan: Problems of popularity in the island's cinema

Darrell William DAVIS*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book Chapters | Papers in Conference ProceedingsBook ChapterResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


There has been a long drought at the box office for locally made films. These have generally avoided popular genres or storytelling, leaving the business of theatrical entertainment to Hollywood and the occasional Hong Kong film. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) was a huge exception, though as an international blockbuster it does not quite count as truly Taiwan. As a Taiwan-born filmmaker, Ang Lee’s home-field advantage is not quite the same as a home-made film (guopian, or Chinese-language national picture). Another big success – breaking the $1 million mark – was Legend of the Sacred Stone (Sheng shi chuanshuo, 1999), a furious, flamboyant, costume epic, played to violent perfection by hand puppets.1 This feature, a martial arts fantasy, is a flashy sword and sorcery tale of Jacobean plotting and double crosses. Imagine Thunderbirds on speed (or betelnut) brandishing swords and flying daggers instead of spaceships.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCinema Taiwan
Subtitle of host publicationPolitics, Popularity and State of the Arts
PublisherRoutledge Taylor & Francis
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)020396439X, 9780203964392
Publication statusPublished - 16 Feb 2007
Externally publishedYes


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