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Hong Kong | 'Edward Yang Retrospective'

  • Date:2017-04-25
Hong Kong | 'Edward Yang Retrospective'

The 2017 Hong Kong International Film Festival held a special retrospective program on the late auteur Edward Yang (楊德昌) in April to commemorate the tenth anniversary of his passing.

World cinema lost a true visionary when Yang passed away on June 29, 2007. However, the sparse seven-feature collection he produced over three decades is an undeniable oeuvre of stunning beauty, power, and originality that not only defined the Taiwanese New Wave Cinema, but helped shape modern Taiwan as well.

The seven restored classics screened in Hong Kong included:

1985 - "Taipei Story (青梅竹馬)” uses the slow dissolution of a romantic relationship to parallel the past and future development of Taipei City.

"Bleak yet exhilarating. Yang's vision was bitter, but hardly without compassion.” - The New York Times

1986 - "The Terrorizers (恐怖份子)” is a complex, chilling crime story set amid cold-blooded ambition, a mysterious gunshot, and three sets of characters.

"Yang's most narratively intricate and formally audacious film … The Terrorizers is at once Yang's ultimate statement on the alienation of modern living and a road map through his own formidable creative process.” - Film Society of Lincoln Center

1991 - "A Brighter Summer Day (牯嶺街少年殺人事件)” bemoans the lack of warmth in people's hearts as mounting oppression in Taiwanese society results in murderous consequences.

"If you see a single four-hour film about the transitional generation of Chinese refugees born in Taiwan after the Communist takeover, make it Edward Yang's A Brighter Summer Day.” - The Guardian

2000 - "Yi Yi (一一),” his seminal film, opens with a wedding and ends on a funeral as Yang uses the narratives of a three-generational family to illustrate Taipei in the 21st century.

"The rare film that can truly be called universal, 'Yi Yi' ponders questions that pertain to us all: How did we end up with the lives we have, and how do we accept them, if we choose to do so? More than a movie that stays with you, it's one to live with.” - Los Angeles Times


Taiwanese screenwriter Hsiao Yeh (小野) also hosted a post-screening forum after "A Brighter Summer Day" on April 16 while Kaili Peng, Yang's widow, met with filmgoers after the screening of "Yi Yi" on April 13.