100 books like Cinema Taiwan

By Darrell William Davis (editor), Ru-shou Robert Chen (editor),

Here are 100 books that Cinema Taiwan fans have personally recommended if you like Cinema Taiwan. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of 32 New Takes on Taiwan Cinema

Ming-Yeh Rawnsley Author Of Taiwan Cinema: International Reception and Social Change

From my list on understanding and enjoying Taiwan cinema.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in Taiwan and have always been fascinated by cinema. I received my Ph.D. in 1998 in the UK in communications studies and shifted my research priority from media to Taiwan cinema in 2005 when I became Head of Chinese Studies at the University of Nottingham Ningbo, China. I had fun working on several projects, screening Taiwanese films, discussing Taiwan cinema and society with filmmakers and audiences, and publishing widely in Chinese and in English. I have travelled, lived, and worked in different cities and countries since 2005 and have continued to find it rewarding to study what I have been passionate about since childhood. 

Ming-Yeh's book list on understanding and enjoying Taiwan cinema

Ming-Yeh Rawnsley Why did Ming-Yeh love this book?

I have always enjoyed reading works by Emilie Yueh-yu Yeh and Darrell William Davis as I find their perspectives on the subject I love–Taiwan cinema–refreshing and intelligent.

In their new volume, Yeh and Davis team up with co-editor Wenchi Lin and provide a meticulous examination of 32 individual Taiwanese films between 1963 and 2017. I like the fact that this book offers a wide spectrum of Taiwanese cinematic output in addition to updating the existing literature.

I am particularly inspired by a question that runs through the entire volume: What does national cinema mean to Taiwan at different times under different social, political, and cultural contexts?  

By Emilie Yueh-Yu Yeh (editor), Darrell William Davis (editor), Wenchi Lin (editor)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked 32 New Takes on Taiwan Cinema as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Curating Taiwan Cinema: 32 New Takes covers thirty-two films from Taiwan, addressing a flowering of new talent, moving from art film to genre pictures, and nonfiction. Beyond the conventional framework of privileging "New and Post-New Cinema," or prominence of auteurs or single films, this volume is a comprehensive, judicious take on Taiwan cinema that fills gaps in the literature, offers a renewed historiography, and introduces new creative force and voices of Taiwan's moving image culture to produce a leading and accessible work on Taiwan film and culture.

Film-by-film is conceived as the main carrier of moving picture imagery for a…


Book cover of Island on the Edge: Taiwan New Cinema and After

Ming-Yeh Rawnsley Author Of Taiwan Cinema: International Reception and Social Change

From my list on understanding and enjoying Taiwan cinema.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in Taiwan and have always been fascinated by cinema. I received my Ph.D. in 1998 in the UK in communications studies and shifted my research priority from media to Taiwan cinema in 2005 when I became Head of Chinese Studies at the University of Nottingham Ningbo, China. I had fun working on several projects, screening Taiwanese films, discussing Taiwan cinema and society with filmmakers and audiences, and publishing widely in Chinese and in English. I have travelled, lived, and worked in different cities and countries since 2005 and have continued to find it rewarding to study what I have been passionate about since childhood. 

Ming-Yeh's book list on understanding and enjoying Taiwan cinema

Ming-Yeh Rawnsley Why did Ming-Yeh love this book?

This is one of the first English books I read about Taiwan New Cinema (TNC), arguably the most significant film movement in Taiwan to date.

When the TNC occurred in the 1980s, I was a student and Taiwan was going through the early stage of regime transition and democratization. It was an exciting but also uncertain time. I found films of TNC compelling but often opaque in meaning.

Reading this book in the early 21st century suddenly unlocked a lot of mysteries about the TNC as a film movement and the brilliance of these works for me. It motivated me to start researching Taiwan cinema as a subject more seriously.       

By Chris Berry (editor), Feii Lu (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Island on the Edge as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is the first English-language anthology on the Taiwan New Cinema and its legacy. It is an exciting collection which covers all the major filmmakers from Hou Hsiao Hsien and Edward Yang to Ang Lee and more. The volume gatehrs a range of essays that analyze individual films produced since the advent of the Taiwan New Cinema in the early 1980s.

Taiwan and its internationally renowned cinema are " on the edge" in more ways than one. For all of its history the island has been on the edge of larger geopolitical entities, subjected to invasions, migrations, incursions, and pressures.…


Book cover of Taiwan Cinema: A Contested Nation on Screen

Ming-Yeh Rawnsley Author Of Taiwan Cinema: International Reception and Social Change

From my list on understanding and enjoying Taiwan cinema.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in Taiwan and have always been fascinated by cinema. I received my Ph.D. in 1998 in the UK in communications studies and shifted my research priority from media to Taiwan cinema in 2005 when I became Head of Chinese Studies at the University of Nottingham Ningbo, China. I had fun working on several projects, screening Taiwanese films, discussing Taiwan cinema and society with filmmakers and audiences, and publishing widely in Chinese and in English. I have travelled, lived, and worked in different cities and countries since 2005 and have continued to find it rewarding to study what I have been passionate about since childhood. 

Ming-Yeh's book list on understanding and enjoying Taiwan cinema

Ming-Yeh Rawnsley Why did Ming-Yeh love this book?

I recommend this book because it is one of the few single-authored monographs in English that covers Taiwan cinema exclusively and comprehensively.

The study of Taiwan cinema has proliferated and diversified a great deal in recent years. However, when Hong’s Taiwan Cinema was published in 2011, most books on this subject were edited volumes and tended to have a narrower focus at the time. I like the fact that the author has offered many first-hand research materials.

I learned not only about the history of Taiwan cinema from pre-1945 to the new millennium but also why and how Taiwan cinema has shown the island as a contested nation on screen throughout the many decades. 

By Guo-juin Hong,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Taiwan Cinema as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A groundbreaking study of Taiwan cinema, Hong provides helpful insight into how it is taught and studied by taking into account not only the auteurs of New Taiwan Cinema, but also the history of popular genre films before the 1980s. The book is essential for students and scholars of Taiwan, film and visual studies, and East Asian cultural history.


Book cover of Taiwan Cinema as Soft Power: Authorship, Transnationality, Historiography

Ming-Yeh Rawnsley Author Of Taiwan Cinema: International Reception and Social Change

From my list on understanding and enjoying Taiwan cinema.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in Taiwan and have always been fascinated by cinema. I received my Ph.D. in 1998 in the UK in communications studies and shifted my research priority from media to Taiwan cinema in 2005 when I became Head of Chinese Studies at the University of Nottingham Ningbo, China. I had fun working on several projects, screening Taiwanese films, discussing Taiwan cinema and society with filmmakers and audiences, and publishing widely in Chinese and in English. I have travelled, lived, and worked in different cities and countries since 2005 and have continued to find it rewarding to study what I have been passionate about since childhood. 

Ming-Yeh's book list on understanding and enjoying Taiwan cinema

Ming-Yeh Rawnsley Why did Ming-Yeh love this book?

I think the author is very clever by bringing in the trendy concept of soft power and thus opening a new window for our understanding of Taiwan cinema.

I found the book not the easiest to read if you are not particularly familiar with the language of cultural studies or with specific films and filmmakers in Taiwan. However, the author has presented a convincing and valuable argument by linking a cinematic output to the entire system, which enables the production, circulation, and distribution of this output.

In other words, Taiwan cinema is a result, but the system that enriches creativity is where Taiwan’s values and soft power lie.  

By Song Hwee Lim,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Taiwan Cinema as Soft Power as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of 1939: The Making of Six Great Films from Hollywood's Greatest Year

Thomas S. Hischak Author Of 1939: Hollywood's Greatest Year

From my list on 1939 Hollywood.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been writing books about film, theatre, and popular music since 1991 but my love of old movies goes back much further. Before VCRs, DVDs, and streaming, one could only catch these old films on television (often cut to allow for commercial time) or revival houses. Today even the more obscure movies from 1939 are attainable. Writing 1939: Hollywood's Greatest Year gave me the opportunity to revisit dozens of old favorites and to see the many also-rans of that remarkable year.

Thomas' book list on 1939 Hollywood

Thomas S. Hischak Why did Thomas love this book?

Because this book concentrates on only six 1939 movies – Gone with the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Stagecoach, The Hound of the Baskervilles, and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Adams is able to go into much more detail about the making of each film and the critical reaction each received. I'd be hard-pressed to pick only six movies from that eventful year and movie fans will disagree with Vieira's choices somewhere down the line. But once you get past that, this book is filled with important information and plenty of trivial details that it is a great read.

By Charles F. Adams,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked 1939 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Film critics and historians are virtually unanimous in considering 1939 the greatest year in the history of motion pictures. This one year produced many of the greatest films of all time, including “Gone with the Wind,” “The Wizard of Oz,” and “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” and marketed the height of the careers of such legendary stars as Clark Gable, Jimmy Stewart, John Wayne, and Judy Garland.   To commemorate the 75th anniversary of this amazing year in Hollywood history, “1939: The Making of Six Great Films from Hollywood’s Greatest Year” profiles of six of the greatest films of the year:…


Book cover of The Cinema of George Lucas

Peter Krämer Author Of American Graffiti: George Lucas, the New Hollywood and the Baby Boom Generation

From my list on the life and films of George Lucas.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have turned my childhood fascination with Hollywood into an academic career. For four decades I have explored, not least through extensive archival research, all aspects of the history of American cinema – films, filmmakers, studios, production histories, marketing campaigns, critical reception, audiences. Among other books, I have published three volumes in the British Film Institute’s Film Classics series (on Buster Keaton’s The General and Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove and 2001: A Space Odyssey). I have focused on some of the most highly acclaimed, most commercially successful, most ardently loved, and most influential movies of all time. The starting point for my work is always my passionate engagement with particular movies.

Peter's book list on the life and films of George Lucas

Peter Krämer Why did Peter love this book?

This lavishly illustrated large-format volume takes the reader from George Lucas’s childhood and early youth to his years at film school and his subsequent Hollywood career as a director, writer, and producer, with a particular emphasis on the production histories of his key films.

With unprecedented access to countless interviewees and archival materials, Hearn brings George Lucas and the making of his films to life.

Apart from telling compelling stories, he also reproduces a wide range of documents for the reader’s perusal so that the book may serve as an archive in its own right (and I have certainly used it precisely in this way in my own research).

By Marcus Hearn,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Cinema of George Lucas as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Acclaimed filmmaker George Lucas reinvigorated the science-fiction genre more than 25 years ago with Star Wars, one of the greatest epics and cultural icons of its generation. He has enthralled audiences with his grand vision, mythic narratives, and groundbreaking visual effects ever since, and he remains a pivotal figure in American cinema: Star Wars: Episode II (2002) was the first film to be shot entirely with state-of-the-art digital cameras, and Star Wars: Episode III, Revenge of the Sith is set for release on May 19, 2005. Marcus Hearn draws on exclusive interviews-as well as unprecedented access to the Lucasfilm archives-to…


Book cover of Pretty as a Picture

Josh Stallings Author Of Tricky

From my list on crime stories with neurodiversity plus one.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a massively dyslexic writer. I have always felt like I was standing outside a party I wasn’t invited to. Reading writers with diverse backgrounds and brain types from me but a common humanity makes me feel less alone. I grew up on the activist hippy side of the 60’s culture wars. I grew up poor. I went to a mostly white hippy grammar school. I went to a mostly Black inner-city high school. My oldest son is intellectually disabled. I have committed petty crimes, done drugs, been a drunk. I am one diverse mother-trucker. But then again, aren’t we all.

Josh's book list on crime stories with neurodiversity plus one

Josh Stallings Why did Josh love this book?

Marissa doesn’t label herself but seems to deal with Autism Spectrum Disorder. In her words, “The best way I can think to describe it is that there’s a beehive in my chest, and most people upset the bees. The nearer they get, the worse it is—and direct contact makes them swarm.” Marissa is more than a diagnosis. She is a film editor struggling to verbalize to producers her inner creative process. I was a film editor for many years and Little’s description of the creative process was spot on. Marissa is trapped on a movie set full of mayhem and murder. How she presents makes it hard for anyone to believe her when she discovers a killer amongst them. The book is a powerful statement on looking beyond how someone presents the truth they are speaking.

By Elizabeth Little,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Pretty as a Picture as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Wall Street Journal, Seattle Times, and CrimeReads Best Mystery Book of 2020

"Funny, fast-paced, and a pleasure to read." --The Wall Street Journal

An egomaniacal movie director, an isolated island, and a decades-old murder--the addictive new novel from the bestselling author of Dear Daughter

Marissa Dahl, an up-and-coming film editor with a flair for faux pas, travels to a small island off the coast of Delaware to work with the legendary--and legendarily demanding--director Tony Rees on a feature film with a familiar logline.

Some girl dies.

It's not much to go on, but the specifics don't concern Marissa. Whatever…


Book cover of The Jaws Log

Carleton Eastlake Author Of Monkey Business

From my list on what Hollywood is really like.

Why am I passionate about this?

Having been a Hollywood writer for thirty years, and now written a novel that although satirical still accurately describes the creation of a TV series, I’ve long been amazed at how many Hollywood stories – including films made in Hollywood – offer fantasies that have even less to do with the reality of love and work in film and television than Game of Thrones does with the real Middle Ages. I’ve written fantasy myself, but for people fascinated by Hollywood, or who want to work in film and TV, there’s a reason too to read books that capture the reality, especially when like the books listed here, they do so astonishingly well.

Carleton's book list on what Hollywood is really like

Carleton Eastlake Why did Carleton love this book?

In my book club I’m known as Second Carl, since Carl Gottlieb has been a member far longer than I. In fact, I was still a lawyer in Washington, D.C. secretly dreaming about Hollywood but never suspecting I’d someday myself work on a Spielberg TV series, when I read this short, fast, now revered account of the filming of Spielberg’s breakout film. It proved to be a deeply accurate and comprehensive description – and warning – about what life and work on location and in Hollywood itself would be like. It’s also so engagingly readable and relevant, a Broadway musical based on the book is in tryouts as I write these words.

By Carl Gottlieb,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Jaws Log as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of 3 Oscars [registered] and the highest grossing film of its time, "Jaws" was a phenomenon, and this is the only book on how 26-year-old Steven Spielberg transformed Peter Benchley's best-selling novel into the classic film it became. Hired by Spielberg as a screenwriter to work with him on the set while the movie was being made, Carl Gottlieb, and actor and writer, was there throughout the production that starred Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, and Richard Dreyfuss. After filming was over, with Spielberg's cooperation, Gottlieb chronicled the extraordinary year-long adventure in "The Jaws Log", which was first published in…


Book cover of Zeroville

Tyler Schwanke Author Of Breaking In

From my list on movie lovers.

Why am I passionate about this?

Tyler Schwanke is a writer and a filmmaker. He holds an MFA from Hamline University, and his short stories have been widely published in online journals and literary magazines, including Chaotic Merge, Havik, and Fiction Southeast. He is also a graduate of the New York Film Academy and Minnesota State University Moorhead, where he was awarded a Minnesota Film and TV Grant. Several of his award-winning short films have played at festivals across the country. Tyler lives in the Minneapolis with his wife and their dog. Breaking In is his debut novel.

Tyler's book list on movie lovers

Tyler Schwanke Why did Tyler love this book?

Possibly my favorite book ever (only time will tell) this novel is a fever dream of Ike “Vikar” Jerome’s journey into Hollywood starting in 1969 and expanding over a decade.

With a tattoo of Montgomery Clift and Elizabeth Taylor from A Place in the Sun on his bald head, this novel reads like Forrest Gump in the way that Vikar shows up at historical moments in Hollywood’s golden age, making friends with thinly veiled Hollywood titans as they get their start in the film industry. 

By Steve Erickson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Zeroville as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Book by Erickson, Steve


Book cover of Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War

Brooke L. Blower Author Of Americans in a World at War: Intimate Histories from the Crash of Pan Am's Yankee Clipper

From my list on surprising histories about Americans abroad during WWII.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a history professor at Boston University, where I teach and write about modern American popular thought, political culture, trade, travel, and war especially in urban and transnational contexts. I enjoy histories that are based on deep and creative bodies of research and that push past timeworn myths and clichés about the American past.

Brooke's book list on surprising histories about Americans abroad during WWII

Brooke L. Blower Why did Brooke love this book?

Only a small fraction of the millions of Americans in uniform during World War II were engaged in combat operations. Harris’s well-researched account zeroes in on the service of five Hollywood directors, who, like many other professionals, were asked to adapt their civilian skills to wartime needs.

Tacking back and forth between Washington and other stateside locales and posts far afield—from Midway and the Aleutian Islands to North Africa and Italy—the book’s carefully drawn action conveys the far-flung exploits of filmmakers during the war as well as how those experiences impacted their craft.

By Mark Harris,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Five Came Back as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“One of the great works of film history of the decade.” —Slate

Now a Netflix original documentary series, also written by Mark Harris: the extraordinary wartime experience of five of Hollywood's most important directors, all of whom put their stamp on World War II and were changed by it forever 

Here is the remarkable, untold story of how five major Hollywood directors—John Ford, George Stevens, John Huston, William Wyler, and Frank Capra—changed World War II, and how, in turn, the war changed them. In a move unheard of at the time, the U.S. government farmed out its war propaganda effort…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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