一一 | Yi yi: A One and a Two

Yi Yi

With the runaway international acclaim of this film, Taiwanese director Edward Yang could no longer be called Asian cinema’s best-kept secret. Yi Yi swiftly follows a middle-class family in Taipei over the course of one year, beginning with a wedding and ending with a funeral. Whether chronicling middle-aged father NJ’s tenuous flirtations with an old flame or precocious young son Yang-Yang’s attempts at capturing reality with his beloved camera, Yang imbues every gorgeous frame with a deft, humane clarity. Warm, sprawling, and dazzling, this intimate epic is one of the undisputed masterworks of the new century.

Directed by Edward Yang | Starring : Nien-Jen Wu, Elaine Jin, Kelly Lee, Jonathan Chang, Issei Ogata | Presented at Cannes Film Festival, Munich Film Festival, Karlovy Vary Film Festival, Sarajevo Film Festival, Telluride Film FestivalToronto Film Festival, Vancouver Film Festival, New York Film Festival, Chicago Film Festival, Bergen Film Festival, Valladolid Film Festival, Tokyo Film Festival, London Film Festival, Oslo Film Festival, Rotterdam Film Festival, Fribourg Film Festival, Singapore Film Festival, Hong Kong Film Festival, Locarno Film Festival, Cinemanila Film Festival

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麻将 | Mahjong

Mahjong

In this latter-day screwball farce, Yang puts a comic spin on his signature themes of globalization and urban ennui. The primary setting is a trendy night spot where Yang orchestrates the elaborate comings and goings of a raft of disparate characters, including a couple of mob enforcers, an American escort service madame, and a young Frenchwoman looking for the British entrepreneur who wooed her in London. Languages, classes and ideologies collide at a dizzying rate in this jaundiced love letter to Taipei at the close of the 20th century.

Directed by Edward Yang | Starring : Chen Chang, Virginie Ledoyen, Carrie Ng, Elaine Jin, Lawrence Ko | Presented at Berlin Film Festival, Singapore Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Vancouver Film Festival, New York Film Festival, Rotterdam Film Festival

独立时代 | A Confucian Confusion

A Confucian_Confusion

Taipei in the 90’s, a city made up of intense human relationships, full of changes and opportunities. There are at least 500 kinds of “trendy” happenings in the streets and attaching to any one of these trends will allow one to find the value of “living”. In a matter of two and half days, a group of young people try to chase after their own dreams and desires, interact in unusual coincidences, create love and hate in ridiculous situations, cause lucly and unfortunate events. Some went to heaven, some went to hell and some happily and surprisingly discovered that they had become decent and independent people.

Directed by Edward Yang | Starring : Shiang-Chyi Chen, Shu-Chun Ni, Weiming Wang, Danny Deng, Bosen Wang | Presented at Cannes Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Vancouver Film Festival, New York Film Festival, London Film Festival, Rotterdam Film Festival

牯岭街少年杀人事件 | A Brighter Summer Day

Brighter

Slow, elliptical, and for the most part understated, Yang’s masterly account of growing up in Taiwan at the start of the ’60s is as visually elegant as his own Taipei Story and The Terroriser, and as epic in scope as Hou Hsiao Hsien’s City of Sadness. On the surface, it’s about one boy’s involvement in gang rivalry and violence and his experience of young love. On a deeper level, however, it’s about a society in transition and in search of an identity, forever aware of its isolation from mainland China, and increasingly prey to Americanisation. The measured pace may be off-putting, but stay with it – the accumulated wealth of detail invests the unexpected final scenes with enormous, shocking power.

Directed by Edward Yang | Starring : Chen Chang, Elaine Jin, Kuo-Chu Chang, Lawrence Ko, Lisa Yang | Presented at Toronto Film Festival, Berlin Film Festival, Melbourne Film Festival, Cannes Film Festival, Rotterdam Film Festival, London Film Festival

恐怖份子 | The Terrorizers

Terrorizers

Ostensibly inspired by a documentary on a German terrorist group, Edward Yang’s austere third feature discovers, hidden within the stillness of human emotion, a terror far more brutal than any moment of physical violence. Bookended by images of guns and corpses, the film’s true focus is on the violence enacted in everyday relationships, whether between lovers, coworkers, or strangers. The narrative weaves intricately among three scattered groups of characters: a doctor and his novelist wife, a mopey female hoodlum, and a love-struck photographer, all threaded together by one prank phone call and a sense of deceit and lingering entropy. Yang said the film was “built rather like a puzzle; the spectator can rearrange it in his head when he gets home.” It is the inescapable feeling, not the telling, of the story that matters. Indeed, the gunshots at the beginning and end seem interchangeable, almost anticlimactic, rendered quaintly obsolete by the film’s painstakingly traumatic layering of human relations and their emotional violence.

Directed by Edward Yang | Starring : Cora Miao, Bao-ming Gu, Lichun Lee, Shih-Chieh Chin, Ming Liu | Presented at Berlin Film Festival, Locarno Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, London Film Festival, San Francisco Film Festival, AFI Film Festival

青梅竹马 | Taipei Story

Taipei Story2

Lung, a former member of the national Little League team and now operator of an old-style fabric business, is never able to shake a longing for his past glory. One day, he runs into a forme teammate who is now a struggling cab driver. The two talk about old times and they are struck by a sense of loss. Lung is living with his old childhood sweetheart Ah-chin, a westernized professional woman who grew up in a traditional family. Although they live together, Ah-chin is always weary of Lung’s past liason with another girl. After an argument, Ah-chin tris to find solace by hanging out with her sister’s friends, a group of westernized, hedonistic youths.

Directed by Edward Yang | Starring : Chin Tsai, Hsiao-hsien Hou, I-Chen Ko, Nien-Jen Wu, Hsiu-Ling Lin | Presented at Febio Film Festival, Thessaloniki Film Festival

冬冬的假期 | A Summer at Grandpa’s

A Summer at Grandpa's

In Hou Hsiao-hsien’s early film, an eleven year-old Taipei boy, Tung-Tung and his 4-year old sister Ting-Ting are sent to the country to spend the summer with their grandparents after their mother falls ill. The children’s summer is delightfully carefree, but the adult world slowly encroaches on their play. Their uncle impregnates a girl but falls in love with a different girl, and two of his pals are wanted for robbing and beating a pair of motorists. A developmentally disabled neighbor causes more controversy, but also rescues Ting-Ting from an oncoming train (she’s stuck there due to a thoughtless prank played on her by her brother and his friends). And Tung-Tung worries over his mother, hoping for news of her recovery.

Directed by Hsiao-hsien Hou | Starring : Wong Kai-Gwong, Shuzhen Li, Ching-kuo Yan, Bor Jeng Chen, Hsiu-Ling Lin | Presented at Locarno Film Festival, Nantes Film Festival, Buenos Aires Film Festival, Thessaloniki Film Festival