Beauty on the Big Screen: Kaohsiung's Municipal Film
--By John Matthews Translated
by Annie Liu
Sitting in relative obscurity along the west side of
the Love River, just one block north of WuFu 4th Road,
is a treasure trove for movie and history buffs. Odds
are you've seen this public place, but never knew what
exactly it was. Kaohsiung's Municipal Film Archives
are accessible to everyone, and is a wealth of information
and entertainment for those who want to take a look
at both national and local Taiwan history and culture.
Resembling a giant frame from a roll
of film, this block-shaped building is an example of
modern Asian design with its glass and steel. Inside,
exhibit spaces are bright and spacious while the cinemas
on the third floor are as comfortable as any of the
newer downtown Cineplex's.
On the second floor is a book, magazine
and film library and archives. With the proper I.D.
(Taiwanese ID document, passport or ARC) anyone can
obtain a free membership card. The library here operates
like any public library - you must have a membership
card to view any of the 6000+ films. You're not allowed
to take any of the films home with you but you can certainly
view them in-house on any of their 30+ viewing stations.
Open between 1:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.,
the entrance on the first floor is flanked by an information
desk to the right as you walk in. This writer didn't
find any English speaking staff at the archives, but
their friendly and helpful services are as good as any
at other public facilities. This summer, look out for
an event that celebrates a Decade of Pusan International
Film Festival Retrospection from now until October 15th.
Also keep an eye out for movies showing as part of The
Imprint of Sound exhibition. All reservation and ticket
information is available by visiting the website or
calling them directly.
Pease be mindful of the list of rules posted at the
front door, including no food or drinks and no smoking.