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ASPA 3890- Impact of the Local Film Cape No.7 in Taiwan

ASPA 3890- Impact of the Local Film Cape No.7 in Taiwan


THESIS: Cape No.7, the remarkable Taiwan film, has recalled the identity, brought a great impact in the domestic film production, and also influenced the local film market. Therefore, the paper will analyze the impact of the local film Cape no.7.

I. Cape No.7 recalled the identity of Taiwanese.

Ø Because of the atmosphere of the society was depressed, Taiwanese needed a film like Cape No.7 which told a simple but hopeful story.

Ø The success of it was by accident, and it confirmed the identity of Taiwanese.

II. As a local film, Cape No.7 has great had impact on local movie production.

Ø Its topic and style soon became the mainstream of local commercial film.

Ø After Cape No.7, people start to go to theaters to watch local film.

III. Cape No.7 made local film to have benefit.

Ø The box office of local film starts to get better, theaters bought more local film production.

Ø Government changed the regulation of film subsidy.

Impact of the Local Film Cape No.7

‘Fuck you! Taipei! ‘The boy smashed his guitar, and then got on his motorcycle and started his way home. This is the beginning of Cape No.7, the best seller of a local movie ever in Taiwan according to the box- office ranking of the domestic film. A-Ga, the boy full of anger, who left his hometown to the big city, did not success in music like he thought he would, so he went back to his home in Kenting with depression and a broken heart. The experience of A-Ga is the common memory of the Taiwanese youth generation in the side country. The other character, Uncle Mou is the elder who was left in countryside alone because his children went to the city for jobs, the other character, an aboriginal police officer, Lou-Ma whose wife left him because of his job, they all represent different groups of people living in Taiwan. The gap between city and countryside, the enforcement brought by Japanese occupation, and the strength of local people built the story. In the end, these depressed people became partners in a band and successfully performed. After Cape No. 7, the local films started to have better box-office and began the trend to tell a story with heavy local culture. Unlike the past, producing film became beneficial. All in all; Cape No.7 has recalled the identity of Taiwanese, brought a great impact on domestic film and also influenced the commercial benefit of local films.

The identity of Taiwanese Brought by Cape No.7

The belief of ‘rainbow after rain’ was needed by Taiwanese in 2008. Because of the financial crisis and the disappointment of former president bribery; people needed the courage and hoped to start over again. Cape No.7 told a simple story which conveyed the idea of ‘’ rainbow will come’’. In 2009 Feb, Taiwan Panorama Magazine had described:’’ With the addition of the simpler human touch that characterizes the people of southern Taiwan and the beautiful scenery of Hengchun and Kenting, the whole thing had the effect of taking people away from the less-than-ideal present. Thanks to nothing but word of mouth, the film miraculously took in NT$520 million at the box office.’’ (Lin8)

Cape No.7 was a success by accident caused by the atmosphere of society and the lack of Hollywood movies; the director had never imagined that Cape No.7 would have great box-office. Just like what Taiwan Panorama remarked in 2009. ’’ ‘Cape No. 7's path to box-office success was related to the Hollywood vacuum, says Robert Chen, an assistant professor in the Department of Radio and Television at National Chengchi University.’’(Teng7).

Also, Cape No.7 was the bestseller because it gave people the simple idea that the rainbow would appear after rain. According to Taiwan Panorama Magazine has analyzed in 2009. ‘’Economically and politically, Taiwan was a mess in 2008. News about the corruption scandal involving former ROC president Chen Shui-bian dominated headlines day after day. Then the dream that newly elected President Ma Ying-jeou would promptly make everything better was shattered. The global financial crisis hit like an economic tsunami, and the unemployment rate grew and grew. A great sense of despondency settled over society’’. The film could be a reflection of Taiwanese people at that time. (Teng7) Taiwanese people were depressed like A-Ga in 2008.

Cape No.7’s Great Impact of Local Movie Market

After the success of Cape No.7, the identity of Taiwan became a popular topic of the local film. The unique local culture and the complicated history of Taiwan are discussed in the domestic film more. For example, the film Monga in 2010 told a story about local people in the place Monga. Also, the other film Night Market Hero was the story of Taiwan unique culture – night market. They both had the box-office over 100 million. Soon, it turned into the mainstream of Taiwan commercial film. Guo and Teng talk about this in their paper. ‘’’Therefore, in this sense, the reason that made it popular was the collective review of national memory and identity of Taiwanese after industrialization; also, it remarked the reflection of nowadays politics, economy, and culture. The success of this movie was profound in meaning. This was the movie which insisted in discussing the identity of Taiwanese. The watching fad in Taiwan was created by the confirmation of Taiwanese identity again. It indicated the local trend of Taiwan film, and the trend is irreversible. The topic of identity represents the new direction of Taiwan movie.’’(Guo, Duan1)

Taiwan society even called the phenomenon brought by CapeNo.7’’after Cape.No.7 time’’. For much Taiwanese, Cape No.7 was their first experience of seeing a local film. People started buying tickets to the local movie. In Yen Kou bimonthly, ’’Though 90% of films in Taiwan theaters are from oversea, the movie Cape No.7 amazed people. The cost of this film is only 50 million, but it has the box office over 500 million. ……. It is a crucial encouragement towards domestic film industry.’’(Lin13) .Cape No.7 has influenced the local film market and the style of local commercial films. Some of the filmmakers started to follow the style, and Taiwan audiences started to buy more tickets to local films.

The Beginning of Commercial Local Film Rising in Taiwan

In the year 2000, Taiwan joined WTO. Foreign commercial movie entered Taiwan theaters. At that time, the mainstream of Taiwan film, art cinemas or low-cost films, could not beat the foreign commercial films. Especially, later, the center of Hollywood film defeated the local film market seriously. According to the Ministry of Culture’s statistic in 2003, the total box office of the domestic film was 1.5 million, and that did even not reach 1% of entire films box office. Domestic films were not considered beneficial until the miracle of Cape No.7. After the amazing box-office of Cape No.7, the high market share of the local film started to rise. ‘’In 2009, the total of local films playing in theaters was 31 with the total box-office of 120 million, the high market share of the local film was 2.13%… In 2013, the total of local films playing in theaters was 51, with the total box-office of 1.41 billion, the high market share of the local film was 13.87%.’’

The other influence of Cape No.7 showed in government regulations of film subsidy. The government started to view the importance of domestic film production seriously. Film production is being considered as a beneficial art production. In the Yen Kou bimonthly-36th, Professor Liu has written. ‘’ From the statement made by the government about supporting domestic film and the real budget for the film industry, Taiwanese government contributed a lot on supporting film industry…….In 2011, the Government Information Office planned 500 billion for supporting domestic film production.’’(Liu71)

In conclusion, Cape No.7 led the domestic film to make benefits, which caused a great impact on film market and the importance of government contribution. Cape No.7 film showed the success of a local commercial film, and that was considered a revival of a local film. All in all, Cape No.7 is an important film in Taiwanese film history. It was the beginning of a new era of Taiwan film. It was a miracle in 2008, and it still influences the domestic film style by breaking through the difficulties that local filmmakers are facing in costs.

Work Cited

Cape No. 7. Dir: Wei Te‐Sheng. Perf: Van Fan, Chie Tanaka. Jimmy Huang, Wei Te‐Sheng, 2008.

Guo, Liang -liang and Ming – ming Duan. "Cape NO. 7: Identity and Confirmation of Identity of Taiwan." (2010): 1. Print

Lin, Chang-Chin. "Looking the ‘ after Cape No.7 time ’ of Taiwan Film:." Ecomic Outlook 2009: 13. Print.

Lin, Shin-ching. "Sensory Therapy-The Answer to Your Economic Blues?." Taiwan Panorama Magazine 2009: 8. Print.

Liu, Li-Shin. "Current trend of Taiwan film and TV industry.."Yen Kou bimonthly 2012:71. Print.

Monga. Dir. Chen-Zer Niu, Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., 2010. Film

Teng, Shu-fen. "Taiwan's Film Industry after Cape No. 7."Taiwan Panorama Magazine 2009: 7. Print.-

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