“THE STORY OF THE STONE”— A Raw Portrayal of Taipei’s LGBTI Scene with a Classic Chinese Love Story


“The Story of the Stone” A Raw Portrayal of Taipei’s LGBTI Scene with a Classic Chinese Love Story Amos Lassen “The Story of the Stone” is an honest and natural depiction of the gay life in Taipei, as well as exploring despair and hope. It offers a raw take on Taipei’s LGBTI scene going into a life of drug abuse and orgies. Its unflinching treatment, complemented by the film’s cast of twelve hunky actors, leaves nothing to the imagination. The plot  is a modern adaptation of the iconic Chinese classic novel, “Dream of the Red Chamber”. Now the story is now set in the Red House, at the heart of Taipei’s LGBTI scene. We realize that beneath the debauchery lies a tale of loss, despair, and importantly, hope. While the film is an honest look at gay life in Taipei it is also a way for people outside of the LGBTI community to understand that this is actually happening next door without them knowing it.
“The Story  in the Stone” comes  at a relevant time. Taiwan is widely considered to be the most LGBTI-friendly country in Asia,  yet Taiwanese voters rejected the legalization of marriage equality in a recent referendum. These referendum results were considered to be a major setback for the LGBTI rights movement in Asia and followed deeply bitter and divisive campaigns from both pro- and anti-same-sex marriage advocates. Human Rights Watch, wrote an open letter to Taiwan’s government calling for the implementation of marriage equality regardless of the referendum result, arguing that the fundamental rights of the LGBTI community come first. The. Film really just depicts almost ‘a day in the life of’ a particular segment of the gay world that genuinely exists. We recognize most of the characters in the movie as people we know and have had most of those conversations over the years and seen or experienced most of the events that happen. Moments were happy, others were sad, some were matter-of-fact, but most of it is an objective view of the gay world that many hetero friends would be shocked to hear of. This is not representative of the entire gay community, or even the majority, but it feels real for that certain segment it is very real.
Starr Wu’s debut feature is a strikingly modern adaptation of one of China’s Four Great Classics, from Cao Xueqin’s 18th century novel Dream of the Red Chamber, but set in Taipei’s iconic LGBT location, Red House. The film displays an honest and natural depiction of the gay life in Taipei, as well as exploring despair and hope. “The Story of the Stone” is provocative and fun, a pumped-up retooling of the 700 page epic for the Grindr generation. The plot goes like this: after the death of Lin’s boyfriend Bao, Lin heads to Taipei and meets Josh, who has also just arrived in Taipei as a new waiter at the Stone bar in Red House. Slowly a new relationship sparks between Lin and Josh. However, the relationship turns complicated in Red House, involving the clothing store owner Sean and his friend Lian. Josh ends up in the hospital. Meanwhile, a fire breaks out and almost destroys Red House. Lin’s search for his boyfriend Josh leads him to discover a rumor of an affair.

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