Yang. Along with Hou Hsiao-hsien is the leading voice of the Taiwanese New Wave of the 1980’s. I’m very eager to get back to Yang’s work after my breakthrough on Ozu in 2018 (and HHH in 2019). Yang’s reputation amongst cinephiles is far greater than where I have him here. I hope I’m wrong on him. For the purposes of this list his strength is certainly Yi Yi– a wonderful film. The compositions on this page are impossible to deny as well- a style+ auteur even if the filmography a little underwhelming in comparison with a few others I’ve yet to get to on this list.

a sublime composition from The Terrorizers – I wonder if this impacted Kieslowski– a similar shot is in his film Red (and this is eight years prior)

Best film: Yi Yi. I found this to be far and away the best of the four Edward Yang films I could get my hands on (he only made a total of seven features). That are high water-shed visual moments- immaculately curated mise-en-scenes that echo HHH (Hou Hsiao-hsien) or Ozu- but also long stylistically quiet periods (it is a long film) that I had a harder time with.

from Yi Yi – a film filled with these masterful frames

total archiveable films: 3

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from The Terrorizers again- a dedication to background as much as foreground in Yang’s work

top 100 films:  0

top 500 films:   0

top 100 films of the decade:   0

Ozu, Hou Hsiao-Hsien , and Edward Yang– this is from A Brighter Summer Day

most overrated: Again, I’m certainly not willing to write them off after one viewing but for right now both Yi Yi and A Brighter Summer Day are in the consensus top 125 of all-time on TSPDT and I’m not close to that.

most underrated :  I do not have one here.

gem I want to spotlight : I did not walk away overly impressed (especially given the reputation) with the first viewing of Terrorizers or A Brighter Summer Day so would have to go with Yi Yi again here.

stylistic innovations/traits:

  • Compositions in medium, medium-long, and long shots (usually from a fixed camera)
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Compositions in medium, medium-long, and long shots (usually from a fixed camera) — this one from Yi Yi
  • His genre was melodrama, large casts—which fit his long shot and panorama picture quality style
  • The design of the mise-en-scene in Yang’s greatest shots certainly puts him in the Ozu-acolyte category – along with HHH (also a proponent of having very view if any close-ups and a fixed camera)
if there was ever proof Yang was an Ozu acolyte– his is from Yi Yi and mirrors a shot in Ozu’s Early Summer
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this here from Yi Yi is pure Antonioni- using spaces and obstructions — doorways
  • Even some of his biggest admirers talk about the layering in his films and multiple viewings required
  • Long films, deliberately paced—Yi Yi is 173 minutes, Summer Day is 237

top 10

  1. Yi Yi
  2. A Brighter Summer Day
  3. The Terrorizers

By year and grades

1986- The Terrorizers R
1991- A Brighter Summer Day HR
2000- Yi Yi MS

*MP is Masterpiece- top 1-3 quality of the year film

MS is Must-see- top 5-6 quality of the year film

HR is Highly Recommend- top 10 quality of the year film

R is Recommend- outside the top 10 of the year quality film but still in the archives