Today we share our opinion on the recently released queer short film titled Unnamed, the debut production by the undergraduate students of the Taipei National University of the Arts, one of Taiwan's most reputed and prestigious arts institutions. Released in 2020, the rookie production has successfully bagged a number of accolades in several local and international film festivals. winning the "Student Film - Narrative Selection" at the Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival 2019, Women Make Waves International Film Festival Taiwan 2020, Taiwan International Queer Film Festival 2020, Golden Harvest Awards Taiwan 2020, and "Queer Lens - Best Screenplay" at the Independent Film Festival of Chennai 2020.
The plot of the film centers on a girl named Zhang Ya-Ting (gracious and beautiful in Mandarin) who wants to change her name because she thinks of it to be too feminine and ladylike. For this, she plans to seek the help of her best friend, a boy by the name of Hong Jia-Hao, by paying him a visit. Upon reaching Hao's place, Ting interrupts one of Hao's random hook-up sessions with a guy he met online. Placed an awkward , Hao them exposes Ya-Ting's past lesbian tendency to his hook-up buddy. The sudden revelation has the two best friends argue with each other on the rooftop as they discuss and debate issues of self-identity and love as they both come of age.
Gao Hang plays the role of Zhang Ya-Ting, the lead male protagonist of Unnamed (Source: GagaOOLala)
We begin our review of the short film with the debut actor, Gao Hong who happens to be our primary motivation behind wanting to watch the film in the first place. In the movie, Gao Hong plays Hong Jia-Hao, the gay bestie of the lead protagonist Zhang Ya-Ting. Affable by nature, Hong Jia-Hao is shown to have a friendly disposition who is very kind, caring, and considerate of his friends, especially that of Zhang Ya-Ting making him the perfect candidate for the title of the perfect "gay bestie." Likewise, Hong's performance is completely natural and effortless throughout the course of the film with him being completely relaxed and at ease even when it came to the nude, intimate scenes featured in the movie.
The two bare shots of Hong Jia-Hao, the “Gay Bestie”, has us spellbound. Even as lesbians, we have to admit that it's hard for us to resist the appeal of the lean, youthful body. !Furthermore, the most impressive detail about the movie is that besides playing the lead protagonists of the film, both Gao Hong and Chung Chun-Yu (who plays Zhang Ya-Ting) are also the directors of the short film, making the two both the on-screen and off-screen talent behind the ingenious production.
In the end, we would like to express that despite being a rookie, student production. Unnamed surely lives up to its standards in being the high-quality , well thought and well-executed production that it is. While most student-produced films are many a times sloppy, filled with flaws and loopholes, and often a struggle to start and finish, Unnamed makes for a clear exception for it does an excellent job on many different levels, be it its mature script, its polished execution, and the overall production value. Unnamed is a film that's worth recommending and it certainly has our approval.