FSLC announces A RATIONAL MIND: THE FILMS OF EDWARD YANG, Nov 22-27

Posted by on 11.7.2011

The Film Society of Lincoln Center announces

A RATIONAL MIND: THE FILMS OF EDWARD YANG

November 22-27

New York, NY, November 5, 2011¾ The Film Society of Lincoln Center is pleased to announce A Rational Mind: The Films of Edward Yang (November 22-27) - the first comprehensive retrospective of the critically acclaimed filmmaker’s work in the United States. Screening at the Walter Reade Theater (165 West 65th Street), the film series includes the classic, YI YI (2000), for which Yang was honored as Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival, former NYFF films such as A CONFUCIAN CONFUSION (1994) and MAHJONG (1996) as well as the short film THE WIND (2007), comprised of animated scenes from an uncompleted animated martial arts film among a lineup of films celebrating the work of a true master of cinema.

The film series will coincide with the U.S theatrical premiere of Yang’s masterpiece, A BRIGHTER SUMMMER DAY at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center (144 W. 65th Street) on Friday, November 25. In May, 2009, Director Wong Kar-Wai remarked, "Eighteen years ago, Edward Yang’s A BRIGHTER SUMMER DAY was released, heralding a new talent in world cinema. Each year since has further confirmed its status as a classic, but at the cost of increased wear and tear on the prints. In June of 2007, when he was only 59 years old, we lost Edward Yang forever. I’m very happy that A BRIGHTER SUMMER DAY has been restored so a new generation of filmgoers can feel the excitement of seeing it for the first time.” A press screening of the film will be offered at the Walter Reade Theater on Thursday, November 10 at 10:00AM.

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.

Thanks for A RATIONAL MIND: THE FILMS OF EDWARD YANG go to Kaili Peng, Chinese Taipei Film Archive/Teresa Huang, Pony Canyon/Izumi Yamaguchi, World Cinema Foundation/Kent Jones and Doug Laible.

  

Tickets go on sale both at the box office and on-line Thursday, November 10. Discounts are available for students, seniors and Film Society members. Read more about The Film Society of Lincoln Center.

Public and Press Screenings will be held at the Film Society of Lincoln Center's Walter Reade Theater (located at 165 West 65th Street, between Amsterdam Avenue and Broadway), unless otherwise noted. A selection of public screenings will also take place at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center (located at 144 West 65th Street).

PRESS SCREENING (AT THE WALTER READE THEATRE)

RSVP to John Wildman at jwildman@filmlinc.com

           
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 10

10:00AM        A BRIGHTER SUMMER DAY (237min)

Films, Descriptions and Schedule

U.S. Premiere Theatrical Engagement!

A BRIGHTER SUMMER DAY (1991) 237min

Director: Edward Yang

Country: Taiwan/Japan

A deeply personal epic comparable in scope and impact to the Godfather movies and Sergio Leone’s ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA, Yang’s extraordinary memory film stretches tautly over four hours of screen time and more than 100 speaking parts. Set in the early1960s (Yang’s own teenage years) and inspired by the true story of Taiwan’s first juvenile homicide case, the film follows rebellious teenager Xiao Si'r (Chang Chen) as he comes of age amidst rival street gangs and the “White Terror” witch hunts of Chiang Kai-shek’s Kuomintang government. Never before released in the United States and unavailable on DVD.

A BRIGHTER SUMMER DAY opens at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center on Friday, November 25 for an exclusive one-week engagement.

A CONFUCIAN CONFUSION (Duli Shidal) (1994) 125min

Director: Edward Yang

Country: Taiwan

With rapier wit, Yang observes the self-absorption of a gaggle of twenty-something urbanites in this panoramic satire of life in the material world of 1990s Taipei. The film follows “culture company” impresario Molly (Ni Shujun), her wealthy fiancée (who fears Molly may be cheating on him), her talk-show-host sister, and the sister’s estranged husband, a novelist whose latest book imagines a reincarnated Confucius returning—with considerable horror—to a modern society ostensibly built upon his teachings.

A CONFUCIAN CONFUSION screens Wednesday, November 23 at 1:30PM and Saturday, November 26 at 6:30PM.

IN OUR TIME (Guangyin de Gushi) (1981) 106min

Director: Edward Yang, Jim Tao, Ke Yizheng & Zhang Yi

Country: Taiwan

Spanning different ages of life and history (from the 1960s to the then-present), the project includes Yang’s “Expectations,” a plangent study of a teenage girl’s sexual awakening as she pines for the older university student boarding with her family. Yang’s acute attention to the smallest nuances of atmosphere and emotion are evident here, right at the start of his filmmaking career.

IN OUR TIME will screen on Wednesday, November 23 at 6:30PM.

MAHJONG (Majiang) (1996) 121min

Director: Edward Yang

Country: Taiwan

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 (Virgine Ledoyen) looking for the Brtish entrepreneur who wooed her in London. Languages, classes and indeologies collide at a dizzying rate in this jaundiced love letter to Taipei at the close of the 20th century.

MAHJONG will screen on Wednesday, November 23 at 4:00PM and Saturday, November 26 at 9:00PM.

TAIPEI STORY (Quingmei Zhuma) (1985) 105min

Director: Edward Yang

Country: Taiwan

Arguably the most penetrating of Yang’s many studies of the changing face of 20th-century Taiwan, Yang’s second feature uses a single troubled relationship as a window on to a nation that is evolving faster than many of its own citizens can keep up. Yang’s close friend and fellow New Taiwanese Cinema maestro Hou Hsiao-Hsien stars as Long, a once-promising baseball prospect who has returned to Taipei from the United States to run his family’s textile business. The film opens with Long moving into a new apartment with his girlfriend, property developer Chin (Tsai Chin), but while these two may live together, it soon becomes clear that they inhabit different worlds—Long pining for a past that no longer exists, while Chin sees the city’s rapid transformation as a prime opportunity to advance her career.

TAIPEI STORY screens on Friday, November 25 at 6:00PM and Sunday, November 27 at 5:00PM.

THE TERRORIZERS (Kongbufenzi) (1986) 108min

Director: Edward Yang

Country: Taiwan/Hong Kong

Yang’s most narratively intricate and formally audacious film opens with an early-morning police shootout in which a Eurasian girl is seen fleeing the scene through the lens of a young amateur photographer. Elsewhere in the city, blocked novelist Chou (Cora Miao) unsuccessfully tries to elicit sympathy from her frosty husband, a lab technician whose sense of self-worth hinges on being chosen for an important promotion at work. Gradually, these enigmatic characters emerge in sharper relief—and converge in a series of dazzling and unexpected ways—while the line between reality and fiction blurs in the pages of Chou’s latest story.

Screening with

THE WIND (2007) 6min

Director: Edward Yang

Country: Taiwan

Of the many unrealized projects Yang developed in the wake of YI YI, the one that came the closest to fruition was an ambitious animated martial arts movie inspired by Yang’s lifelong love of graphic novels and his friendship with Jackie Chan. Though production on THE WIND was halted by Yang’s death, this brief assembly of completed scenes offers a tantalizing glimpse of what might have been—and might, someday, still be.

THE TERRORIZERS and THE WIND will screen on Tuesday, November 22 at 6:15PM and Saturday, November 26 at 3:15PM.

THAT DAY, ON THE BEACH (Haitan de Yi Tian) (1982) 166min

Director: Edward Yang

Country: Taiwan/Hong Kong

Yang’s Antonioni-esque first feature (which also marked the debut of the Australia-born, Hong Kong-based cinematographer Chris Doyle) is a visually and emotionally arresting melodrama about the meeting of two old friends who haven’t seen each other in 13 years. Chia-li (Sylvia Chang) is a housewife trapped in a crumbling marriage. Chin-chin (Terry Wu) is a concert pianist newly returned to Taiwan after many years abroad. As they reminisce, Yang uses an intricate flashback structure to show us how they arrived at their respective stations in life—and the larger changes in the country itself from the traditional ideals of the post-Civil War generation to the Western-influenced, upwardly mobile youth of the 1980s.

THAT DAY, ON THE BEACH will screen on Friday, November 25 at 8:30PM and Sunday, November 27 at 1:45PM.

THE WINTER OF 1905 (1982) 90min

Director: Yu Wei-cheng

Country: Taiwan

Before he turned his attention to directing, Yang contributed the screenplay to this little-known period piece starring legendary Hong Kong action director Tsui Hark as the great Chinese artist and Buddhist monk Li Shutong, a.k.a. Master Hong Yi. In 1905, Li traveled to Japan to study Western painting and music, and upon his return revolutionized the teaching of art in China, influencing an entire generation of artists. Set during the turbulent era of the Russo-Japanese War, director Yu Wei-cheng’s film reveals the human dimension of this celebrated figure, while Yang’s sensitive script depicts Li as a young intellectual hewing to his artistic ideals in the face of great political turmoil.

THE WINTER OF 1905 will screen on Wednesday, November 23 at 8:45PM and Saturday, November 26 at 1:00PM.

YI YI (2000) 173min

Director: Edward Yang

Country: Taiwan/Japan

A work of extraordinary synchronicity, empathy and narrative control, YI YI is like a particularly fine timepiece, as fascinating for the way it functions as the way it is formed. Once again, Yang probes the conflicts and anxieties of life in Taiwan, but this time through the prism of family. Middle-aged businessman NJ (Wu Nien-Jen) is having personal and professional crises—his computer firm is in flux and he's just reconnected with an old girlfriend. Meanwhile, Grandma has had a stroke, for which NJ’s daughter blames herself; his wife runs off to a religious retreat; and his son is having trouble adjusting to it all, perhaps because he's a genius. Winner of Best Director at Cannes.

YI YI screens on Friday, November 25 at 2:30PM and Sunday, November 27 at 7:30PM.

Public Screening Schedule for A Rational Mind: The Films of Edward Yang

Screening Venue:

The Film Society of Lincoln Center – Walter Reade Theater

165 West 65 Street, between Broadway & Amsterdam (upper level)

Tuesday, November 22

6:15PM          THE TERRORIZERS (108min) + THE WIND (6min)

Wednesday, November 23

1:30PM          A CONFUCIAN CONFUSION (125min)

4:00PM          MAHJONG (121min)

6:30PM          IN OUR TIME (106min)

8:45PM          THE WINTER OF 1905 (90min)

Friday, November 25

2:30PM          YI YI (173min)

6:00PM          TAIPEI STORY (105min)

8:30PM          THAT DAY, ON THE BEACH (166min)

Saturday, November 26

1:00PM          THE WINTER OF 1905 (90min)

3:15PM          THE TERRORIZERS (108min) + THE WIND (6min)

6:30PM          A CONFUCIAN CONFUSION (125min)

9:00PM          MAHJONG (121min)

Sunday, November 27

1:45PM          THAT DAY, ON THE BEACH (166min)

5:00PM          TAIPEI STORY (105min)

7:30PM          YI YI (173min)

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