Sunday, July 03, 2005

Crystal Boys...(2003)

Posted by: hcpen1111

Crystal Boys...(2003) 孽子 電視劇

This drama was aired in Taiwan in Feb 2003 and was widely acclaimed as a well directed piece of work. It ended up winning almost all the awards at the 2003 Golden Horse Awards (金馬獎) in Taiwan which is the most prestigious TV Award in Taiwan and also garnered a huge following by straight and gay viewers alike with several reruns...I really liked it as the story had good looking actors, a superb script, effectively showed what Taiwan was like in the 1970s and how society was like then including the status of women(how the male main character Ah Qin's mother had to lead a life of misery and abuse at the hands of men and also Sister Yue Li's suffering) and also the repressed atmosphere under which gay men had to lead during those times unlike the comparatively more open and diverse lifestyle Chinese/Asian gay men lead today.....I also absolutely fell in love with the soundtrack especially the ending title which is really heart tendering and emotive...i would recommend this drama definitely even to those who are not particularly keen on gay themed tv dramas or films since this is an excellent drama with a fantastic director, cast, soundtrack and script...there are also very little gay sex scenes (only one very tame scene in whole drama i remember) or even kissing scenes which means it is suitable for even teens i would think....the problem is definitely how to obtain it as it is available ONLY in Mandarin with Chinese sub and there is no english version/subtitles to my knowledge, even in manyAsian countries it is not sold due to the sensitive topic of homosexuality it deals basically only obtainable in Taiwan, pirated copies in China, off the internet through BT or Edonkey sites or in countries like Malaysia or Singapore where even though it is not sold may still be obtainable through some CD,VCD shops which may order individually for customers if they so happen to have the connections.....

I am lucky that i went back to Taipei last year and as i have connections with PTS which produced the drama, was able to obtain the whole VCD boxset of "Crystal Boys" for free...really clear of December 2004, the DVD and VCD boxset was still selling at many shops around Taipei and was also available for rent at a rental shop in Taipei...


English: Basically the story of a gay teenager called Ah Qin and how he was discovered half-naked with his bestfriend in the school lab by the cleaner one night and got expelled from school as well as kicked out of home by his conservative military father after his father found out about it. It then follows his life at the New Park in Taipei where gay men congregate and form their little kingdom there when night falls. Ah Qin has 3 gay friends and a leader 'father' and the TV drama revolves around their lives incl family problems and love life....based on renowned Chinese novelist Bai Xian Yong's Novel Crystal Boys with the storyline roughly the same as the novel with some minor, though significant, changes.

Note: Bai's novel also entitled Crystal Boys incorporatd many real life places into the story including New Park which really exists in Taipei and was really well-known for gay men cruising from the 1960s to early 1990s. (I even remember vaguely once my parents mentioning the park as a gay area when we passed by once years back...) It is now not a popular gay spot anymore with Taiwan's new democratic liberal atmosphere with the flourishing of gay bars and discos as well as the has been renamed 228 Memorial Park and houses a memorial to the 228 Massacre.

Chinese: 誠如白先勇先生所言:「在《孽子》中,我主要寫父子關係,而父子又擴大為:父代表中國社會的一種態度,一種價值,對待下一輩、對待同性戀子女的態度——父子間的衝突,實際是個人與社會的衝突。
本劇情節描述從民國六十三年夏天的一個午后,主角李青因與同學發生曖昧行為被學校記大過開除,遭一直期盼他報考軍校的老兵父親趕出家門開始,這名邊緣少年如何在歷經母親、弟弟亡故、被家庭與學校放逐,乃至於無意中進入「新公園」蓮花池周圍的黑暗王國,認識許多相互扶持好友並與周遭人物開展一連串追尋情感寄託之處的心路歷程。故事主軸除了透過年輕卻早熟的主角李青,以第一人稱的口白方式描述在七零年代那個充滿壓抑的年代,自我如何掙扎於個人、家庭及社會群體價值的矛盾與衝突外; 也刻畫幾位主角在充滿喧囂、同情、憐憫、無助的環境裡,如何在生存、慾望和悔恨中掙扎擺盪,獲得最後救贖的人生旅途。

記: 白的孽子實際上加入了很多真的台北地點比如小說裡的新公園。非台灣人可能不知道台北真有此地。1960年代到1990年代初﹐新公園聞名同性戀者的聚地。但從90年代始隨台灣的民主化和社會的開明化和網絡的原因﹐新公園(現改名為228公園為紀念228事件)以不以前活躍。

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