Athens International Film Festival

Urban myths: The sublime cinema of Edward Yang

'That Day, On the Beach’ (1983), Yang’s miraculous debut feature film, was the way this pioneering director set the foundations for the cinematic New Wave of Taiwan and introduced the legendary cinematographer Christohper Doyle to the audience (and later on to Wong Kar-wai). In his muchpraised ‘Taipei Story’ (1985) he offered the leading role to Hou Hsiao-hsien, one of the greatest auteurs of modern cinema, co-writing the script. With his epic ‘A Brighter Summer Day’ (1991), the undisputed masterpiece of his filmography, he gained international admiration and saw his film voted by 5000 top critics abroad as one of the 100 most important films ever made. With his polyphonic drama ‘Yi Yi’ (2000) he won the Direction Award at Cannes and gained international acclaim. The film holds a place among the ten best films of the decade according to respectable media (New York Times, Village Voice, Sight and Sound) and extremely important theoreticians such as Susan Sontag.

Through his artistically exciting filmography of twenty years filled with gems, the Taiwanese director became the poet of elaborate narration, of the conflict between the old world with the new one and our effort to remain unfazed before the cataclysmic political and social changes that take place in our little worlds, our communities, our cities, our countries.

Edward Yang (1947-2007) left this world too young, at the age of 59 and the peak of an amazing career, which was bound to give even more masterpieces. His film legacy though, places him deservedly next to the greatest directors of modern Asian cinema, and it is this very legacy that is presented at the 25th AIFF’s retrospective. It’s the first time that the Greek audience will have the chance to watch all Edward Yang’s films. Loukas Katsikas



    Publication date: 2019-09-09 16:00:31

    Yi Yi: A One and a Two…

    Yi Yi: A One and a Two…

    It starts with a wedding and ends with a funeral. In between these two events, the film covers a decisive year in the life of three generations of a middle-class family. Edward Yang's swan song is a beautiful film which succeeds in turning something small into something epic. Winner of the Best Director award at the Cannes Film Festival and to many film critics a masterpiece of 21st century cinema.

    A Confucian Confusion

    A Confucian Confusion

    In his Palme d'Or nominated film, Edward Yang offers up a diverse and utterly vitriolic satire set in the heart of Taipei where the head of a PR company fires one of her employees forcing her to reconsider her ethics and values. A rare opportunity to enjoy one of the director's hard-to-find films on the brig screen.

    A Brighter Summer Day

    A Brighter Summer Day

    In the early 60s, a rebellious boy growing up amidst great social turmoil, fascinated with American culture and incapable of handling the machinations of an indecipherable world, falls for a girl involved with violent gangs. A milestone for contemporary cinema, a wondrous magnum opus on the fatal date man has with History, a film which close to 5000 critics from around the world listed as one of the top 100 movies ever made. A digitally restored copy of the film will be screened

    Taipei Story

    Taipei Story

    A meeting of great minds between Yang and the grand Asian director Hsiao-Hsien Hou, who co-writes and stars in this milestone of Taiwanese cinema which follows the cataclysmic changes that take place in a city and country, trapped between the past and the present, and the overwhelming effect these have on the life of a couple and on the lives of the greater public in general. One of Martin Scorsese's favourite films.

    Mahjong

    Mahjong

    The mysterious disappearance of a well-known businessman, who is deeply in debt to the Taipei underworld, becomes a charming mix of comedic drama set against the backdrop of a country undergoing an identity crisis, having lowered its defences in the face of advancing western culture. NBA, Jimmy Dean, the Beatles and Mercedes become a chaotic cultural merry-go-round at the end of which awaits a shocking finale. Yang's penultimate film won Honorable Mention at the Berlin Film Festival.