R.I.P. Edward Yang
Edward Yang, the Tawainese writer and director of seven films, has died of colon cancer. The 57-year old was perhaps the most prominent of the Taiwanese New Wave movement that arrived in the 1980s. He was one of the four directors responsible for 1982’s In Our Time, which would become one of the seminal works of the movement owing a large debt to Italian neorealism and European schools of film rather than strictly Asian influences. Yang spent the rest of his life on films that explored the Taiwanese culture he grew up with and its interactions with other cultures and itself.
In 2000 Yang’s most recent film, Yi Yi, debuted at the Cannes Film Festival. The movie was nominated for the Palm D’Or and Yang himself won the best director award. In the following years the movie gained even more acclaim and was selected by Sight and Sound as one of the ten greatest films of the past twenty-five years. With these distinctions, Yang finally found the recognition he’d deserved for so long. It’s a tragedy that the first time he gained an international audience was also his last.
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