This classic of the Taiwanese new wave was made at a fascinating moment at the end of the 20th century: the material and cultural transition from the ’80s to the ’90s. In this zone, we observe the twilight of the video arcade, porn videos, and the phone booth. The first is to end up in the living room, the second, in our laptops, and the last, in our pockets. In Neon God, a young man, Ah-tze (Chen Chao-jung), and a woman, Ah Kuei (Wang Yu-wen), fall in love in a world that seems to be heading nowhere. Where are all of these video games, roller skaters, cheap motels, cheap sexual thrills, these Japanese motorbikes taking them? They have no idea. The lovers have the feeling they are living at the end of something, but all they can do is live in the end moment by moment. The young man is a petty thief, the young woman has a regular job but spends her free time on the fringes of prostitution.

There is a third character in this sad urban story, Hsiao Kang (Lee Kang-sheng). He is a dropout from a college preparation school and the son of a proud taxi driver and spiritual mother. In the tense and directionless mood of Hsiao, we see the kind of soil that nourishes a serial killer. But even he is too impotent and confused to commit murder; he instead commits a dumb act of vandalism. Hsiao, like everyone else of his generation, can’t move forward in this twilight, which is soon to enter a night that will be terminated by the dawn of new political arrangements in the region and a bright new class of consumer technologies. recommended