Edward Yang

  • Edward Yang – Eleven Women: Floating Weeds (1981)

    1981-1990DramaEdward YangTaiwanTV

    It’s a two-episode run of the Taiwanese TV anthology series Eleven Women, produced by actress Sylvia Chang. The idea—to have several younger directors make episodes about contemporary Taiwanese life, centering on female protagonists—was modeled after the Hong Kong TV productions (such as Below the Lion Rock) that kickstarted the HK new wave. And indeed, it started the careers of not only Yang but several other important figures who would go on to pioneer the Taiwanese New Wave.

    Yang’s episodes were adapted from a short story by Di Yi. The title is “Floating Weeds” (literally, “Duckweed”).Read More »

  • Edward Yang – Hai tan de yi tian AKA That Day on the Beach (1983)

    Edward Yang1981-1990AsianDramaTaiwan

    Two friends who haven’t seen each other for thirteen years reunite. One is a successful concert pianist just back from a European tour and the other has just started a new business.Read More »

  • Edward Yang – Kong bu fen zi aka The Terrorizers (1986)

    Arthouse1981-1990AsianEdward YangTaiwan

    The lives of anonymous strangers become intricately intertwined in this 1986 effort by late Taiwanese auteur Edward Yang. Following the sudden death of his superior, a doctor frames his colleague in order to succeed as the clinic’s director. The doctor’s writer wife, meanwhile, is experiencing a mid-life crisis, struggling to finish her next novel while surrendering to the advances of an ex-boyfriend. Elsewhere, a hippie photographer randomly snaps a delinquent girl escaping from a crime scene and becomes obsessed with her. The girl is locked up at home by her mother, and begins making random prank calls, which in turn affect the lives of the doctor and his wife.Read More »

  • Edward Yang – Qing mei zhu ma AKA Taipei Story (1985)

    1981-1990AsianDramaEdward YangTaiwan


    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.Read More »

  • Edward Yang – Yi yi (2000)

    1991-2000DramaEdward YangTaiwan


    Master Taiwanese director Edward Yang spins this intricate and complex yarn about life’s everyday crises. The film focuses on N.J. Jian (Wu Nien-jen), a noted writer/director in his own right), his wife Min-min (Elaine Jin) and their two children, teenager Ting-ting (Kelly Lee) and young Yang-yang (Jonathan Chang). Their middle-class existence seems stable and secure until a series of incidents throws all of their lives out of kilter. The misfortunes start at the wedding of Min-min’s ne’er-do-well brother A-Di (Chen Xisheng), when his jilted ex-girlfriend Yun-Yun (Zeng Xinyi) bursts into the proceedings and lambastes the bride. Upset by the ruckus and feeling unwell, Min-min’s mother goes home early only to suffer a stroke and slip into a coma. After the wedding, N.J. runs into his first love, Sherry (Ke Suyun), who is married to a rich American. This chance encounter shakes N.J. to his very foundations, forcing him to reevaluate his life. At the same time, N.J.’s computer company deliberates on whether or not to collaborate with a renowned Japanese games designer, Ota (Issey Ogata), sending N.J. to Japan to negotiate a contract. Confronted by her mother’s coma, Min-min also takes stock of her life and finds it lacking. On the brink of a nervous breakdown, she suddenly joins a religious retreat.Read More »

  • Edward Yang – Gu ling jie shao nian sha ren shi jian AKA A Brighter Summer Day (1991)

    1991-2000ArthouseDramaEdward YangTaiwan


    It’s only natural that Edward Yang’s A Brighter Summer Day begins with a shot of a barely-lit light bulb. On the set of a movie, a director reprimands an actress for harping on the color of her dress. “This is a black and white film,” he says, one of many references to the symbolic darkness that overshadows the milieu of the film. A Brighter Summer Day is itself in color, but it may as well be monochrome. Much of the film’s action takes place at night or inside dimly lit interiors, and it’s not unusual for the characters to be confronted by light and its almost political implications. Some of the best images in the film (young boys staring at a rehearsal from a theater’s rooftop; a basketball bouncing out of a darkened alleyway) pit light against dark—a fascinating dialectic meant to symbolize a distinctly Taiwanese struggle between past and present. From weapons to watches, objects similarly speak to the present. Like the light, these objects are constant reminders that the past can’t be ignored and must be used to negotiate the present.Read More »

  • Edward Yang – Mahjong aka Couples (1996)

    1991-2000ComedyCrimeEdward YangTaiwan

    Mahjong (1996) is in many ways Yang’s greatest Satire, but has, at the same time, the beating pulse of a real dramatic story. In plays on the perception of Taiwan by foreign entities, urban locales, love, father/son relationships, and of course, themes of business & greed that Yang most vehemently loathes. The story is told through a variety of different viewpoints, but we are centered on a small gang of friends/hustlers, apparently led by Red Fish (Tang Congsheng), and consisting of Luen-Luen (Ke Yulun), a gentle-hearted translator, Hong Kong (Chen Chang of Crouching Tiger fame), a ladies man who is able to charm his way into any woman’s pants, and Little Buddha (the same actor who played “Cat” in Yang’s A Brighter Summer Day), a fake Feng-Shui expert who is used in the gang’s various scams. Read More »

  • Edward Yang – Du li shi dai AKA A Confucian Confusion (1994)

    1991-2000AsianComedyEdward YangTaiwan

    When I first came across ‘A Confucian Confusion’, I expected nothing much. I was wrong, very wrong. It turned out to be a great movie. On one of your ‘average’ days, go to a video store, then rent and watch it. I guarantee it will be the best thing on your day. (‘Average’ here means the rest of the days when you don’t win lotto or have a date of your life)

    The film looks at a sample of modern Taiwanese life. Edward Yang the director, who won some awards for his later film ‘Mahjong’, focuses at a different part of the taiwanese society. If in ‘Mahjong’ he tells the story through the darker gangsters-like fraction of the population, here he puts a light above a ‘whiter’ group of people, mid to upper class men and women trying to cope with the fast living in the money-driven, ever growing Taipei. And that’s all the film’s about, a window to some Taipei lives in particular and modern taiwan in general. A society as a result, not necessarily an effect, of the very old Confucian philosophy.Read More »

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