Thinking Aloud About Film: Moneyboys (C.B. Yi, Taiwan, 2021)

Why are we talking about Moneyboys? Well Jose’s recently read DIE PUPENJUNGE/ THE HUSTLER: THE STORY OF A NAMELESS LOVE FROM FRIEDRICHSTRASSE , City of Night, and Dancer from the Dance and is fascinated by gutter and underbelly, night and shadows, criminality and liminality, the ways social and psychic alienation can combine with carnal immersion though sexual connection, the tension in sex work between certain types of freedom and certain types of bondage. Moneyboys is too high class to touch on many of those things. But Richard IS interested in Taiwanese Cinema, in Hou Hsiao-hsien and in Haneke —  interests which do intersect with Moneyboys — so humours him. In the podcast we talk of the significance of a Taiwanese film on this subject being set in Mainland China; the tensions between the rural and the city; the biological family which accepts money earned from sex work but casts out the worker; the value of constructed families; the various kinds of love valued (and de-valued) by the film; the possible conflation of sex work and homosexuality; the fluid long takes and the emotional distance evoked. It’s an accomplished first film, interestingly made, and interestingly made  under a pseudonym. In the podcast we talk through our responses to the various strands it  dramatises and the issues they raise. The film is currently on MUBI.




The podcast can also be listened to on Spotify here:

and on itunes here:


José Arroyo and Richard Layne

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