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Edward Yang
Director / Screenwriter
Born November 6, Shanghai, China
Key Production Countries: Taiwan
Key Genres: Drama, Family Drama, Psychological Drama
Key Collaborators: Elaine Jin (Leading Player), Bo-Wen Chen (Editor), Nien-Jen Wu (Leading Character Player), Wei-yen Yu (Producer), Chen Chang (Leading Character Player), Shiang-chyi Chen (Leading Character Player), Yiwen Chen (Leading Character Player), Wei-han Yang (Cinematographer), Longyu Li (Cinematographer), Bosen Wang (Character Player)

Highly Recommended: A Brighter Summer Day (1991)*
Recommended: Taipei Story (1985), Yi yi (2000)*^
Worth a Look: The Terrorizers (1986), A Confucian Confusion (1994), Mahjong (1996)
* Listed in TSPDT's 1,000 Greatest Films section; ^ Listed in TSPDT's 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films section.

Links: [ Amazon ] [ IMDB ] [ All-Movie Guide ] [ Senses of Cinema: Great Directors ] [ Film Reference ] [ Guardian Unlimited Interview ] [ Filmbug Bio ] [ Strictly Film School ] [ Los Angeles Times Article (2007) ] [ The New York Times Article (2007) ] [ Village Voice Article (2007) ] [ Boston Globe Article (2007) ] [ Globe and Mail Article (2008) ] [ Slant Magazine Article (2011) ]
Books: [ Edward Yang (Contemporary Film Directors) ]
A Brighter Summer Day (1991)The Terrorizers (1986)Yi yi (2000)Taipei Story (1984)
  "Although their films are very different, Yang's patient, discreet, rational style was as antithetical to prevailing trends in Western cinema as his countryman and sometime collaborator Hou Hsiao-hsien's. Influenced by modernist European art cinema, Yang made long films with large casts, but eschewed the epic to concentrate on the accretion of behavioural detail. As has been pointed out, his material has more in common with Western soaps than with Western movies. It is the stuff of everyday life." - Tom Charity (The Rough Guide to Film, 2007)  
  "Largely eschewing close-ups, Yang prefers medium and long shots (usually from a fixed standpoint) to relate characters to one another and to the world around them; lighting and colour evoke mood, while decor and costume deftly delineate class, background and aspiration... Yang's films are distinctly his own, painting in subtle but clear lines social panoramas remarkable for their historical precision ane emotional authenticity." - Geoff Andrew (The Director's Vision, 1999)  
  "Leading contributor to Taiwan new wave of the 80s... Like others in the new wave, he pursued provocative subject matter (critiquing Taiwan's rapid industrialization), hired non-professional actors (an aesthetic choice, as well as a fiscal necessity) and employed new film technology (eschewed by the domestic film studios). His films, especially, A Brighter Summer Day (1991), have enjoyed wide acclaim." - (The MacMillan International Film Encyclopedia, 1994)  
  "I was the leader of the Taiwanese new wave. All these guys would just gather in my house, talking and laughing and drinking: Hou Hsiao-hsien, Wu Nien-jen -- just about all of them. You could just push open the door. Everyone just wanted to do similar things. We weren't allowed to, and no one was willing to give us any money to, but we shared all these idealistic thoughts." - Edward Yang  

"Edward Yang is in the intriguing position of being one of the most gifted, and least seen, filmmakers in the world, at least for American audiences. His films express the confusion, anxiety, and sheer beauty of societal transformation. Yang also equates the macrocosmic and microcosmic, making the lives of his characters stand in for the greater, less visible processes of social change. Along with Hou Hsiao-hsien and Tsai Ming-liang, Yang is one of the most visible faces of the Taiwanese New Wave, possibly the most brilliant filmmaking movement in the world today... A shared trait of all Yang’s films is a complexity resistant to quick summary or explication. Each of his films possesses a difficulty and depth that requires multiple viewings to parse. Even elements of plot and character development are not always clear on first viewing." - Saul Austerlitz, Senses of Cinema (2002)

Top 250 Directors
21st Century Top 50 
501 Movie Directors: A Comprehensive Guide to the Greatest Filmmakers
See Also
Robert Bresson
Hou Hsiao-hsien
Hirokazu Koreeda
Stanley Kwan
Ang Lee
Kenji Mizoguchi
Mikio Naruse
Yasujiro Ozu
Hiroshi Shimizu
Tian Zhuangzhuang
Tran Anh Hung
Tsai Ming-liang
Edward Yang's Favourites
8½ (1963) Federico Fellini, Aguirre: The Wrath of God (1972) Werner Herzog, L'Argent (1983) Robert Bresson, Blue Velvet (1986) David Lynch, A Clockwork Orange (1971) David Lynch, Floating Clouds (1955) Mikio Naruse, Harakiri (1962) Masaki Kobayashi, Manhattan (1979) Woody Allen, Mon oncle d'Amérique (1980) Alain Resnais, Nostalghia (1983) Andrei Tarkovsky. Source: Sight & Sound (1992)


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