The plot concerns youth in the streets of Taipei. Hsiao Kang is the troubled son of a taxi driver who has just quit school. He encounters two petty criminals during a minor, meaningless act of violence, and decides to follow them in pursuit of justice. The film winds its way around the streets, arcades and neon lights of Taipei, in a study of youth, disaffection and the alienating effects of urban life.
His first feature won Tsai Ming-liang a lot of attention, and he would go on to become one of Taiwan’s most influential and famous directors. More well known for later films like Goodbye Dragon Inn and What Time Is it There?, Ming-liang has racked up a dizzying array of awards, from Cannes to Berlin to Venice. All beautifully shot, and usually recycling the same themes and actors (particularly Lee Kang-sheng), his movies consistently win the love of both critics and the public.