Táifēng and the Motorway Saint
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Randomness and order collide in a new work by Mark Lyken. The first of two films, playing simultaneously, documents the overlooked areas and unheard voices of three Taiwanese cities. Long contemplative shots of locations at rest are intercut with footage of the bustle of everyday urban life. Field recordings, and the responses of previous viewers of Lyken’s film, mingle with an improvised soundtrack from Tainan’s 12 Dog Cycle, as the film moves towards a climax in which Taiwan is struck by natural disaster. On the second screen, a more benign, equally mysterious natural process is shown in close detail: the bubbling and steaming of a jade-green geothermal spring, full of the potential to erupt at any moment.