Opening night film “The Taiwan Oyster”

The night ended with a screening of the film, “The Taiwan Oyster,” directed by Mark Jarrett. The film is a road movie centering around two twenty-somethings, moonlighting as writers whilst teaching English in Taiwan. The dynamic duo, one cynically depressed and one a non-stop southern one-liner, find refuge and a common tongue amongst fellow American teachers, participating in nightly debauchery sessions. This leads to a friend without family dying on their watch. The film then follows them on their journey to find a worthy resting place within the scenic countryside of Taiwan. The cinematography, done by Mike Sampson, has an uncanny resemblance to the show “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations,” making for plenty of eye candy for travel enthusiasts. The soundtrack, done by Dylan Jones, is generally playful and has an Animal Collective feel to it with some old country classics. Deeply nerve-racking and ominous tones find a way of creeping in and out of the film, providing an ever looming feeling of dread.

The film jumps back and forth between the fish-out-of-water urban nightlife of Taiwan to the excruciatingly existential vast amounts of countryside, making for quite the meditation on life.

Variety described it as having “the scrappy anarchy of early Wes Anderson.”

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