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In His Time: The Films of Edward Yang

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The National Museum Cinémathèque is proud to present the works of Edward Yang from 2 to 13 March 2011. As his films are rarely seen outside of film festivals, this complete retrospective, In His Time: The Films of Edward Yang, offers audience the opportunity to savour all of the legendary director’s films.

Ms Lee Chor Lin, Director of the National Museum of Singapore, says, “Film is a powerful tool of expression Yang masterfully used to comment on the rapid urban changes that Taiwan experienced in the 1980s and 1990s.

We hope that through this retrospective, the audience in Singapore will be able to gain some insight into Taiwanese society and the effects of modernisation on the psyche of people as well as the critical circumstances under which a generation of creative people like Yang had had to overcome conventions to achieve excellence.”

Considered as one of the leading figures of the Taiwanese New Wave, Yang pushed the boundaries of filmmaking in his country at that time, charting a new direction for his contemporaries and Taiwanese cinema as a result.

Known for his commitment to the use of film for cultural critique and social commentary, Yang’s films are stark and candid reflections of Taiwanese society. Through the study of intertwining lives of urban individuals, his films often revealed the most commonplace yet intense themes of life such as the search for identity and love in the midst of chaotic city lives. His cinematic brilliance garnered him a string of international accolades, including the coveted Best Director Award at the Cannes Film Festival in 2000 for the movie Yi Yi(一一, 2000).

In His Time: The Films of Edward Yang is the most comprehensive retrospective to have ever been organised for any Taiwanese auteur in Singapore:
> Screenings of Yang’s eight masterpieces, including The Winter of 1905 (1905) a rarely seen early film endeavour

> That Day on the Beach, (1983) Yang’s directorial debut, for which he personally chose then little-known cinematographer Christopher Doyle to be part of his crew. This film gave Doyle his big break into Asian cinema, for which he won the Best Cinematographer award at the Asia-Pacific Film Festival.

> The omnibus film, In Our Time, which is often regarded as the origin of the Taiwanese New Wave
> Recently restored versions of films such as A Brighter Summer Day (1991) and The Terrorizers (1986)

> Two documentaries, the Singapore premiere of Farewell: Edward Yang and the world premiere of Yi Yi – One on One with Edward Yang, produced by collaborators and friends of the director. The latter documentary offers never-before-seen footage of the making of Yi Yi.

Edward Yang aficionados will be pleased to know that the National Museum Cinémathèque has invited special guests to participate in dialogue sessions with the audience at the retrospective: Hsiao Yeh, a fellow contemporary of the Taiwanese New Wave, who is also the screenwriter of The Terrorizers; Leong Poh-chih, filmmaker and personal friend of Yang; Peng Kaili, spouse of Yang; Stan Lai, world-renowned theatre director, playwright and personal friend of Yang and Hung Hung, screenwriter of A Brighter Summer Day.

Celebrating one of the greatest yet least seen filmmakers in the world, In His Time: The Films of Edward Yang promises to engage audience with films that are daring, complex and honest.

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