It’s been a couple of decades since it was released, and more than 10 years since I saw it at the Brooklyn Museum of Art’s landmark retrospective of Taiwanese cinema, but Edward Yang’s The Terrorizers has an urgent pull that makes me eagerly anticipate seeing it again. This 1986 film took the form of paranoid, pessimistic modernist thriller, with unreliable narration and uncertain relationships between characters and causality of events. Three seemingly unrelated groups of people become more tightly entwined as the film links them together in surprising—and sinister—ways. It will be interesting to see if this narrative tactic, which has been heavily copied from Tarantino onward, seems as fresh now as it did then. Yang, who was one of a trio of great Taiwanese filmmakers that constituted a “new wave” in the 1980s and ’90s, had his real breakout with his next film, A Brighter Summer Day (1991), but his biggest international success was with Yi Yi in 2000. Unfortunately, that would be his last film; he died in 2007 at the age 59.
Language(s):Mandarin, Min Nan
Subtitles:Chinese, English (idx/sub)