News  ·  15 | 08 | 2020

Taipei Stories

Edward Yang’s film, which won the Pardo d’argento in 1987, is available online as Eric Baudelaire’s choice for A Journey in the Festival’s History

In August 2007, as a tribute to the filmmaker who had passed away due to cancer little over a month before, at the age of 60, the Locarno Film Festival, which was as old as Edward Yang, showed the great Taiwanese director’s final film, Yi Yi, in Piazza Grande. That screening tied in with the Festival’s anniversary retrospective, since Yang won over the Locarno audience in 1987, during the event’s fortieth edition, with his third solo feature film The Terrorizers (the debut In Our Time was a multi-director effort). The film, which won the Pardo d’argento, was part of new Taiwanese cinema, then on the rise (two years later, Yang’s fellow countryman Hou Hsiao-sien won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival), and it remains fascinating to this day, with its thriller trappings that are actually a portrait of city life in Taipei, which is explored via the intertwined stories of three couples, one of which includes a photographer whose actions are a tip of the hat to Antonioni’s Blow-Up. The mystery turns metaphysical, and a sense of alienation remains throughout the geopolitical structure of a finely calibrated film, whose labyrinthine and hypnotic precision makes it one of the early peaks of an all too short filmography, to be rediscovered this year as part of A Journey in the Festival’s History.

Max Borg