Yang. Along with Hou Hsiao-hsien is the leading voice of the Taiwanese New Wave of the 1980’s. I am 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 throughout 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