Ranked Best Edward Yang Movies

Taiwanese director Edward Yang He passed away tragically young at the age of 59, leaving behind a lot of unfinished potential for the kind of movies he could bring to the world. However, the body of work he created while there was incredible, a reminder of the simplicity and power of filmmaking. He was one of the most acclaimed Taiwanese directors of his generation, producing films alongside Hou Hsiao-hsien and Tsai Ming-liang amidst the Taiwanese New Wave. Born in China and raised in the capital city of Taiwan, Yang was educated in both Taiwan and the United States.


After earning a master’s degree in electrical engineering, Yang moved briefly while attending film school at USC, but originally decided that making films wasn’t for him. Shortly thereafter, he returned to Taiwan and began producing his own work. His name first appears in the anthology film in our timeand achieved worldwide success in 2000 with its release yi yiWhich won him the Best Director Award at the Cannes Film Festival. This would be his last movie before he succumbed to colon cancer. Yang’s filmography may be small but it is full of influential pieces of art that have made their mark on the international film scene. These are his best rated movies.

Today’s movie

6/6 Confucian confusion

Two people hugging at night while smoking
atomfilms

Released in 1994, Yang Confucian confusion is a satire set in 1990s Taipei. The city has undergone rapid industrialization and modernization in recent years, and has become an urban city that fits into the global landscape in terms of branding and identity. The film follows the lives of a group of twenty-somethings, each with different occupations: the ambitious working woman, the wealthy preacher, the novelist, and the talk show host. Confucian confusion He resides in Taipei and Taiwan, which no longer exists, and appears to be in the midst of modernization.

5/6 Mahjong

A girl and a girl are facing each other in a crowded market
atomfilms

Mahjong It was Yang’s second and last film before his death, having come out four years earlier yi yi In 1996. A.S Confucian confusionit provides straightforward commentary on Taiwanese society and life in the 1990s. Mahjong Focuses on a small gang led by a man named “Red Fish”, who are brought together with a French woman searching for her missing British lover in the heart of Taipei. At the same time, a businessman goes missing, leaving $100 million in limbo in the lower part of town. Mahjong Seductive, it weaves in and out of these overarching relationships and conflicts throughout the course of the film’s run.Related: The best movies with Asian LGBTQ+ characters

4/6 That day, on the beach

A woman standing in the doorway
Central Motion Pictures

That day at the beach It was Yang’s first film, and potentially the film that launched the Taiwanese New Wave of the 1980s. Sylvia Chang and Terry Hu, both young actors in their careers, star in the lead roles. Over the course of three hours, the film finds two old friends who haven’t seen each other in over a decade, reuniting. One is a world-famous pianist who travels the world performing, while the other owns a company. When they meet for tea after a long time, they must fill in the cracks and stories that the other has missed.

3/6 A brighter summer day

The girl looks ready to cry
Yang and the Gang Filmmakers

in 2022, A brighter summery It was included in Sight & Sound Greatest Films of All Time along with Yang yi yi. The epic film begins in 1950s Taiwan, with Chang Chen portraying a middle-class young man who is expected to make a career like his father in government. He struggles with balancing life and school, and things don’t improve once he becomes involved with local gangs. As he delves deeper into a life of crime, everything begins to unravel around him as an epic story unfolds.Related: Best Film Adaptation of Books by Asian Writers, Ranked

2/6 Taipei story

Two men are sitting at the table
Evergreen Film Company

1985 Taipei story is one of the earlier releases of Yang’s career, as part of the beginnings of the Taiwanese New Wave. Huo Hsiao-hsien and Tsai Chin play a young couple living in Taipei. Chen portrays a young showrunner who wants to know her future in an increasingly fast-paced world, but her boyfriend, Long, is caught up in the glory of his past. A former baseball player with a loyal streak, he’s not as loyal as he seems.

1/6 yi yi

A woman standing at the window
atomfilms

yi yi is visually compelling and graceful artwork in almost every scene. It is about the Jian family in Taipei, who live a comfortable middle-class life in the city. yi yi It begins with the patriarch running into an old flame, who lives on the other side of the world, and the mother’s mother falling into a coma after a stroke. Family dissatisfaction slowly begins to reveal itself here: the father hates his job, the mother is depressed, the daughter is stuck in a sticky situation, and the son is trying to learn to deal with everything going on in their lives through photography.

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