Edward Yang


I was sad to hear that Taiwanese filmmaker Edward Yang 楊德昌 died so young. I’d only seen one of his films, Yi yi (“A One and a Two”), but it ranks amongst the best Taiwanese films, moreover Yang was still quite young at 59, having died after a seven year long battle with cancer.

Interestingly, most Taiwanese have never seen Yi yi, Yang having refused to distribute it here. I believe he was upset by how little support Taiwanese distributors and audiences gave to their own filmmakers (as opposed to Hollywood), but his disdain can be contrasted with Tsai Ming-liang 蔡明亮 who actively travelled around the country showing his films at universities and giving lectures.

Still, Yi yi remains a stingingly accurate portrayal of the hopes, aspirations, and frustrations of the Taiwanese middle class. It also deserves mention for having NY Bagels prominently featured in a couple of scenes.

Now I feel compelled to try to see his other films.

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