Mosquito Cinema: Journey to the West

Mosquito Cinema: Journey to the West
Saturday, May 14 2016, 6 PM – 9 PM
Tsung-yeh Arts and Cultrual Centre, Madou District, Tainan

This special outdoor 35mm film screening took place in the Tsung-yeh park during my period as artists in residence in Tainan. The event involved a programme of films drawn form the private collection of Mr. Hsu including short devotional film《醉八仙》/ ‘Drunken Eight Immortals’ designed for screening at Temples and the feature length Taiwanese fantasy film 《新西遊記》/ ‘New Pilgrims to the West (1982)’. The event was chaired by Mr. Hsu in traditional ‘mosquito cinema’ style and concluded with discussion with him reflecting on the origins of this tradition. 

“In Taiwan we are not unfamiliar with the outdoor film projectionists and tradition of ‘mosquito cinema’. Before television and VHS arrived on this island, the outdoor projectionists were the busiest men on the street. In the 1980s illegal gambling “Da Jia Le” (which literally means “everybody is happy”) overwhelmed the island and was so popular that people went to temples to ask for luck and even went to the cemetery to seek help from ghosts. When the gamblers won they would hire the projectionist to screen a film to thank the gods and the ghosts.

While researching this cinematic tradition we visited the studio and personal archive of Mr. Hsu in Pingtung, one of the few outdoor projectionists still active in Taiwan. He maintains a diverse collection of traditional celluloid film projectors and has been in this business for over 50 years, witnessing the rise and fall of mosquito cinema. For this special event we have invited Hsu to screen a 35mm film that he used to play in the temple ceremony and share his experience as a witness to the history of the mosquito cinema.” – The Other Cinema Collective with George Clark.

還記得小時候在廟口看電影的好時光嗎?隨著科技的進步,電影全面數位化、光碟與檔案取得容易,在廟口放電影的傳統逐漸在消失中。由「另一種影像記事」策劃「露天野放:電光石火35mm《新西遊記》」特別放映活動,將在本週六(5月14日)晚上六點起在台南麻豆總爺藝文中心登場,活動除了放映1982年由陳俊良導演執導的《新西遊記》,也邀請資深放映師許順吉、英國電影策展人與實驗電影創作者George Clark,一同與觀眾分享台灣露天放映興衰史。


「露天野放:電光石火35mm《新西遊記》」為即將在2017年5月於台南蕭壠文化園區推出的「每部影片都是一道謎語:在黑盒子與白立方的動態影像」之展前實驗放映會,也是英國電影策展人與實驗電影創作者 George Clark在台南駐村的階段性成果之一。








Thanks to Mr. Hsu, Yu ling Chou and Yaowen Hsu.
Supported by Soulangh Cultural Park, Tsung-yeh Arts and Cultrual Centre, National Culture and Arts Foundation.