Dan Tangmo , Film Critic
Candy Rain (2008) is advertisement director Chen Hongyi’s first feature film, a work that has been lauded by Taiwan’s lesbian community. Chen’s graduation from directing TV commercials to making a full-length movie is noteworthy in contemporary Taiwanese film circles. The romantic drama – based on real people and events – combines four tales of lesbians living in Taipei: “If the Southlands Were Frozen,” “City under Invisible Attack,” “Dreaming the Opposite Dream,” and “Candy Rain.” Each of the stories has an ambiguous, lyrical quality, and viewers must use their imaginations to link the plots. In terms of style, the work reflects modern Taipei’s unique fashion culture.
In Candy Rain’s opening scene a group of young men and women are dressed in black, Western-style suits; some are smoking and some are sucking on lollipops. At first glance it’s hard to tell which are male and which are female, not because they are androgynous but because their attire and bearing are all so similar. This gender-neutral look is a contemporary Taipei fashion trend. The greater Taipei area serves as the film’s setting – the protagonist in “If the Southlands Were Frozen” has just broken up with her boyfriend and boarded a train for Taipei, where she plans to make a new start.
The lesbian world of Candy Rain is one of the mass rapid transit system, motor scooters, rented apartments, advertising billboards, cafés, clubs and other social venues, an Internet-wired metropolis. The girls in the stories call each other by their English names, some deliberately choosing masculine-sounding names like “Ricky.” They are young (but not students), independent, possessing professional abilities and personal styles. Moreover, all are looking for love in the big city.
What significance does Candy Rain – a film that celebrates visual imagery, music, and style – have for Taiwan’s lesbian community? Will lesbians find in it confirmation, an object of desire, or evidence of their growth process? Candy Rain’s stylized appeal is perhaps different from past LGBT films, and these four stories are like four sections of the light spectrum, offering viewers a range of choices and possibilities.
Movie Candy Rain trailer (Source: Red Society Films)
|Related Literary Themes：||LGBT Literature|