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Taipei


Taipei is an adaptation of Tao Lin’s critically-acclaimed, cult favorite novel of the same name. Two young New York writers fall in and out of love amidst a whirlwind of drugs, parties, technology, and travel. As one relationship collapses, another blooms for Erin, swept into the world of Paul Chen, a mysterious, charismatic author. When he proposes documenting every aspect of their new romance in an epic laptop-filmed “documentary”, the couple enter into a performative bad romance, fueled by substances and sleepless nights. Tracking the pair through a shotgun Niagara Falls wedding, an LSD trip in a New Jersey mansion, and to Taiwan, the country of Paul’s birth where the couple comes to confront their individual alienation, Taipei is a visually stunning, extremely contemporary portrayal of what it means to be young, alive, and in love in a digital world.

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Taipei Synopsis

Taipei is an adaptation of Tao Lin’s critically-acclaimed, cult favorite novel of the same name. Two young New York writers fall in and out of love amidst a whirlwind of drugs, parties, technology, and travel. As one relationship collapses, another blooms for Erin, swept into the world of Paul Chen, a mysterious, charismatic author. When he proposes documenting every aspect of their new romance in an epic laptop-filmed “documentary”, the couple enter into a performative bad romance, fueled by substances and sleepless nights. Tracking the pair through a shotgun Niagara Falls wedding, an LSD trip in a New Jersey mansion, and to Taiwan, the country of Paul’s birth where the couple comes to confront their individual alienation, Taipei is a visually stunning, extremely contemporary portrayal of what it means to be young, alive, and in love in a digital world.

Taipei%20Still%207.jpeg

Director's Statement:Adapting Tao Lin’s thrilling, complex novel of the lives of modern youth to the big screen was an exhilarating challenge. A strange, almost alien novel, Taipei paints a startling picture of alienation in the digital age. But at its core is a story about love, family, and the ways we cope today in a society at once more technologically connected and emotionally disconnected than ever before.

 

Erin and Paul’s desperate romance, with its obsessive documentation, extreme self-medication, and spiritual yearning ensnared me. This was it. Tao Lin had captured intimately the contemporary condition, and I knew this was a generational portrait I had to make. The ricochets between dark ennui and propulsive movement, the visual potential of the drug binges and psychedelic wanderings, the neon hum of New York City and Taipei, Taiwan - these were the foundations on which I went about translating Taipei to film. In Ellie Bamber and Justin Chon I found willing accomplices who understood intuitively and innately the story we were trying to tell. In director of photography Daniel Katz I discovered a wonderful creator of images both beautiful and desolate. Ultimately, this is a story about how we can exist and connect amidst the cultural detritus of the Internet age, and I hope we’ve made something with meaning for my generation. Jason Lester

 

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