|15/10 (Mon)||7:55 pm||MOViE MOViE Cityplaza|
|20/10 (Sat)||1:20 pm||MOViE MOViE Cityplaza*|
*Q&A session with director
Taiwan / 2017 / 95 min
In Mandarin with Chi & Eng Sub
After marrying into his wife's rich family, Taiwan's puppetry master Li Tien-lu let his eldest son take on the family name of his wife's family. When Li passed on his puppet troupe to his second son, his eldest son Chen Hsi-huang left in disappointment but he never gave up on puppetry. Today, Chen is a puppet master in his own right, yet he still feels he is living in the shadow of his father.
Yang Li-chou is a veteran documentary filmmaker. His works include The Long Goodbye, Bridge Over Troubled Water and The Moment, etc. In 2006, My Football Summer won the Best Documentary at the Golden Horse Awards.
Glove puppetry, also known as hand puppetry or puppet show, originated from Quanzhou in Ming Dynasty. Some say it was created by scholar Liang Binglun while others claim the creator was “xiucai” (“academic”) Sun Qiaoren. Traditional glove puppetry performances consist of a first half and a second half show. The first half holds the puppetry show controlled by the puppeteer, while the second half contains an orchestra playing along the performance.
In Taiwan, glove puppetry is considered old-timers' entertainment. During the Japanese occupation, glove puppetry had been a propaganda tool of the government of Japan. Master glove puppeteer Li Tien-lu once performed in a propaganda show for the so-called “Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere”. After Taiwan Restoration, glove puppetry groups thrived and performed across the island. The groups would often collaborate and compete with one another too.
Nowadays, in order to preserve this traditional art, the Government of Taiwan is the main sponsor of glove puppetry groups. However, limited audience breeds fierce competition between performing groups. Some specialists have also pointed out that preservation is making glove puppetry performances increasingly ossified and less down to earth.
Traditionally, glove puppetry techniques are never passed down to outsiders. Chen Xi-huang is the eldest son of legendary glove puppeteer Li Tien-lu, and the founder of Chen Xi-huang Traditional Traditional Puppet Troupe. He is familiar with around 200 puppetry plays. He has never turned down anyone that wants to learn glove puppetry and none of the 3 potential successors of his troupe are his descendants.