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699 Ratings

The Terrorizers

Kong bu fen zi

Directed by Edward Yang
Taiwan, 1986
Drama, Crime


A metaphysical mystery about the lives of three couples in Taipei that continually intersect over a span of several weeks.

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The Terrorizers Directed by Edward Yang
Yang hangs on meditative sequences while letting major decisions—to break up, to run away, to attempt suicide, to begin an affair—simply elide from one moment to the next. By the end, a new novel will be written, and at least one person will be killed. As in Yi Yi or Summer Day, Yang evokes what critics so revere in the cinema of Jean Renoir: Even when the characters are in conflict, or do something monstrous, there isn’t a villain in the bunch.
October 20, 2016
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Yang’s evident desire to situate these desperate acts within a larger social context looks ahead to his next film, A Brighter Summer Day… but The Terrorizers is an independent and hugely ambitious film in its own right, no mere dry run. Its interlocking stories assign it to the category of the “network narrative,” responsible for some of the most overblown, overreaching film art of the twenty-first century, though in Yang’s hands the sense of connection takes on the aspect of a threat.
October 19, 2016
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The light-speed jump from totalitarian control to the toothy promise of capitalist free-for-all does not occur without turbulence. Yang’s film is one of the most indelible monuments in cinema to the overlooked casualties of this kind of transition, one made by many countries in the last decades of the 20th century.
October 19, 2016
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