In this latter-day screwball farce, Yang puts a comic spin on his signature themes of globalization and urban ennui. The primary setting is a trendy night spot where Yang orchestrates the elaborate comings and goings of a raft of disparate characters, including a couple of mob enforcers (one played by Yi Yi’s Wu Nien-Jen), an American escort service madame, and a young Frenchwoman (The Beach star Virgine Ledoyen) looking for the British entrepreneur who wooed her in London. Languages, classes and ideologies collide at a dizzying rate in this jaundiced love letter to Taipei at the close of the 20th century. –FilmLinc
Though largely unknown in the West, Edward Yang emerged, over the course of two decades, as one of international cinema’s most distinctive voices and, along with Hou Hsiao Hsien, one of Taiwan’s finest filmmakers. Born in Shanghai in 1947, Yang fled with his family to Taiwan during the tumult of the Chinese Civil War. At a young age, he found creative inspiration in Japanese comic books and soon began writing his own works. In 1974, having received an advanced degree in Computer Science at Florida State University, he went on to study film at the University of Southern California. He quickly grew disillusioned with the program’s commercial emphasis, however, and withdrew after only one semester. He remained in America, working as a computer expert for several years. During this time, he kindled his passion for cinema by writing a script and aiding the production of the Hong Kong television movie Winter of 1905 (1981). Upon his return to Taiwan, he directed a number of television shows… read more
The young hoodlums of Brighter Summer's Day 25 years on, and it's not a pretty sight. Contemporary Taiwan also comes in for a kicking. But for some there is, mercifully, a tiny bit of light at the end of this particular tunnel. I like Yang's work as much for its imperfections as for what he gets so right.
Yang’s creative ethos is summed up by two of his lesser known films: A Confucian Confusion and Mahjong .