FYI SOUTH Magazine, July 2006

Beauty on the Big Screen: Kaohsiung's Municipal Film Archives

--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.

10, HeSi Road, YenCheng District, Kaohsiung City
(07) 551-1211
Hours:Tuesday - Sunday
1:30 pm-9:30 pm (Closed Mondays.)