Rebels of the Neon God [In-Person Only]

This event took place Jan 10 - Jan 14, 2024

$14 General Admission
$10 Student/Child/Senior
$7 NWFF Member

Tsai Ming-liang
1h 46m


(Tsai Ming-liang, Taiwan, 1992/2014, 106 min, in Mandarin & Min Nan with English subtitles)

Tsai Ming-liang’s 1992 feature debut already includes a handful of elements familiar to fans of his subsequent work: a deceptively spare style often branded “minimalist”; actor Lee Kang-sheng as its sullen star; copious amounts of water, whether pouring from the sky or bubbling up from a clogged drain; and enough urban anomie to ensure that even the subtle humor in evidence is tinged with pathos.

The loosely structured plot involves a despondent cram school student who becomes obsessed with a petty thief after the thief smashes the rearview mirror of a taxi driven by the student’s father. Stalking the thief to the film’s iconic arcade (featuring a telling poster of James Dean on the wall) and other Taipei locales, the student ultimately takes his revenge.

This impressive film hints at the promise of its director: a talent confirmed by Tsai’s equally stunning second feature, Vive l’amour (Golden Lion, Venice), and continuing to the recent Stray Dogs, a ranking title on many “best of” lists in 2013. Though showing such diverse influences as the French New Wave, Wong Kar-wai’s early films—and, yes, Rebel Without a Cause—Tsai’s film is most remarkable for introducing his startlingly unique vision to world cinema.

Synopsis and stills courtesy of Big World Pictures.

Makes one yearn for an alternative reality where it, not Pulp Fiction, became the beacon of ’90s independent filmmaking.” – Clayton Dillard, Slant Magazine

No longer simply a cult classic, Rebels of the Neon God is part of the history of gay youth consciousness in popular culture.” – Armond White,

As a first film, it is incredibly accomplished, its influences (French New Wave, Wong Kar-wai) apparent but integrated…you can see a director falling in love with the poetics of minimalism.” – Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times

Click for Accessibility Info

Ticketing, concessions, cinemas, restrooms, and our public edit lab are located on Northwest Film Forum’s ground floor, which is wheelchair accessible. All doors in Northwest Film Forum are non-motorized, and may require staff assistance to open. Our upstairs workshop room is not wheelchair accessible.

The majority of seats in our main cinema are 21″ wide from armrest to armrest; some seats are 19″ wide. We are working on creating the option of removable armrests!

We have a limited number of assistive listening devices available for programs hosted in our larger theater, Cinema 1. These devices are maintained by the Technical Director, and can be requested at the ticketing and concessions counter. Also available at the front desk is a Sensory Kit you can borrow, which includes a Communication Card, noise-reducing headphones, and fidget toys.

The Forum does NOT have assistive devices for the visually impaired, and is not (yet) a scent-free venue. Our commitment to increasing access for our audiences is ongoing, and we welcome all public input on the subject!

If you have additional specific questions about accessibility at our venue, please contact our Patron Services Manager at Our phone number (206-329-2629) is voicemail-only, but we check it often.

Made possible due to a grant from Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, in partnership with Sensory Access, our Sensory Access document presents a visual and descriptive walk-through of the NWFF space. View it in advance of attending an in-person event at, in order to prepare yourself for the experience.

⚠️ Covid-19 Policies ⚠️

NWFF patrons will be required to wear masks that cover both nose and mouth while in the building. Disposable masks are available at the door for those who need them. We are not currently checking vaccination cards. Recent variants of COVID-19 readily infect and spread between individuals regardless of vaccination status.

Read more about NWFF’s policies regarding cleaning, masks, and capacity limitations here.

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Northwest Film Forum
1515 12th Ave,

Seattle, WA 98122

206 329 2629

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