Casting Light on Taiwanese Cinema
At the turn of the century Taiwanese cinema had a moment, albeit a quiet one that the average American filmgoer probably missed.
Edward Yang’s magnificent family drama “Yi Yi” was named the best film of 2000, in any language, by the National Society of Film Critics.
Hou Hsiao-Hsien and Tsai Ming-Liang, Mr. Yang’s compatriots in the movement known as the Taiwanese New Wave or the New Taiwan Cinema, were at or near the peaks of their renown; Mr. Hou’s “Millennium Mambo” and Mr. Tsai’s “What Time Is It Over There?” were both released in 2001.
That country was even represented at the multiplex, where “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” from the Taiwan-born Ang Lee, was becoming the highest-grossing foreign-language film in American history. (Unless you count “The Passion of the Christ.”)