A Rational Mind: The Films of Edward Yang

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Admission

  • $13 General Public
  • $9 Students & Seniors
  • $8 Members
Films & Showtimes »

November 22-27

“Life is a mixture of happy and sad things. Movies are so lifelike—that’s why we love them.”
“Then who needs movies? Just stay home and live life.”
“My uncle says we live three times as long since man invented movies.”
“How can that be?”
“It means movies give us twice what we get from daily life.”
—Dialogue from Edward Yang’s Yi Yi

Born in Shanghai in 1947, Edward Yang was still a toddler when his family, like some two million other Chinese citizens, emigrated from mainland China to Taiwan after the end of the Chinese Civil War. Not surprisingly, one of the richest themes in his films (as in those of his friend and contemporary Hou Hsiao-Hsien) would become the search for identity—personal, social and political—in the small island nation. But Yang’s work was equally concerned with such universal subjects as the longing for missed opportunities and the age-old conflicts between parents and children, his deeply rational mind (he came to filmmaking after studying computer science and applied physics) always striving to impose order on the irrational world of human experience. His untimely death in 2007 robbed world cinema of one of its greatest talents at the peak of his career. All the more tragically, only one of Yang’s features, the acclaimed Yi Yi, had managed to receive commercial distribution in the United States, where the director lived for much of his adult life. We are pleased to present this complete retrospective, including Yang’s masterpiece, A Brighter Summer Day.

Don't miss the U.S. theatrical premiere of A Brighter Summer Day, November 25 – December 1, in the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center. Info/Tickets >>


Presented with the generous support of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York

Past Films

A Brighter Summer Day

A Brighter Summer Day

Edward Yang | 1991 | 237 mins

Admission:

General Public: $17
Students & Seniors: $13
Members: $12

Yang’s deeply personal epic about a rebellious teenager in the early 1960s, inspired by Taiwan’s first juvenile homicide case.

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A Confucian Confusion

A Confucian Confusion

Edward Yang | 1994 | 35mm | 125 mins

With rapier wit, Yang observes the self-asorption of a gaggle of twenty-something urbanites in this panoramic satire of life in the material world of 1990s Taipei.

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In Our Time

In Our Time

Edward Yang | 1981 | 35mm | 106 mins

Yang’s plangent study of a teenage girl’s sexual awakening, “Expectations,” is one entry in this omnibus film that helped inaugurate the New Taiwan Cinema.

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Mahjong

Mahjong

Edward Yang | 1996 | 35mm | 121 mins

In this latter-day screwball farce set around a trendy night spot, Yang orchestrates the elaborate comings and goings of  everyone from mob enforcers to a lovelorn Frenchwoman.

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Taipei Story

Taipei Story

Edward Yang | 1985 | 35mm | 105 mins

A once-promising baseball prospect (played by Hou Hsiao-hsien!) moves in with his property developer girlfriend, in Yang’s most penetraying study of a changing Taiwan.

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The Terrorizers

The Terrorizers

Edward Yang | 1986 | 35mm | 108 mins

Edward Yang's widow, Kaili Peng, will introduce the November 22 screening, which will be followed by a reception open to all ticketholders.

Yang’s most narratively intricate and formally audacious film begins with an early-morning police shootout and pulls in the enigmatic characters of a blocked novelist and her lab-technician husband.

Screening with:
The Wind
Edward Yang, 2007
A tantalizing assembly of complete scenes from one of Yang’s unrealized projects, an ambitious animated martial-arts movie.

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That Day, on the Beach

That Day, on the Beach

Edward Yang | 1982 | 16mm | 166 mins

Due to an ongoing legal matter, That Day, on the Beach will be screened in a 16mm print. Admission for these screenings will be FREE. If you have already purchased a ticket, please see the box office for a refund.

Yang’s Antonioni-esque first feature (shot by Chris Doyle) is a visually and emotionally arresting melodrama about two old friends who meet after 13 years apart.

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The Winter of 1905

The Winter of 1905

Yu Wei-cheng | 1982 | Digital | 90 mins

Legendary Hong Kong action director Tsui Hark as the great Chinese artist and Buddhist monk Li Shutong, a.k.a. Master Hong Yi, in a sensitively written story by Yang.

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Yi Yi

Yi Yi

Edward Yang | 2000 | digital | 173 mins

A middle-aged businessman and his family cope with crises in this irresistible, nuanced work of extraordinary synchronicity, empathy and narrative control.

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