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423 Ratings

Taipei Story

Qing mei zhu ma

Directed by Edward Yang
Taiwan, 1985


Lung, an operator of a fabric business and former member of the national Little League team, lives with his old childhood sweetheart Ah-chin, a westernized professional woman who grew up in a traditional family. Although they live together, Ah-chin is weary of Lung’s past liaison with another girl.

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Taipei Story Directed by Edward Yang
Belying this political, cultural and economic jostling is a profound anxiety – for what Taipei and Taiwan should be, and for what human relationships should consist of. Yang’s haunting coda, drenched in simultaneous delirium and resignation, suggests no definitive answer.
October 01, 2018
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Edward Yang’s Taipei Story (1985) offers a classically Yangian portrait of Taiwanese alienation and quiet anxiety, fractured and plagued by modernization and Americanization, and starring co-writer Hou Hsiao-hsien… As always, Yang, whose second feature this was, shoots and cuts with a jeweler’s squint. It’s essentially perfect.
August 08, 2017
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Like A Brighter Summer Day and Yi Yi, Taipei Story is charged with the urgency of a director attempting to map out a whole society through the interlocking oppositions of gender, class, generation, and cultural persuasion that threaten to pull it apart. But whereas those later works boast the intricate plotting and ensemble acting that have led to his reputation as a novelistic director, Taipei Story is hollowed out and almost airless, qualities that make it feel that much more unforgiving.
May 31, 2017
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What are people saying?

  • Renton47's rating of the film Taipei Story

    I can now piece together a narrative connecting the titans of Asian arthouse auteurs (Yang, HHH, Tsai, Zhangke), beginning not least with breakout works that examine an emotional rupture happening via global modernity. It reads in the generational contrasts made by this to Tokyo Story. It is intentionally icy, but the use of physical space casts a spell that moves while holding us as at emotional arms.

  • Karl J. Kipling's rating of the film Taipei Story

    Yang was a fine director, but few subjects duller for me than urban angst. Yet how he adored it! It'd help if anyone in Taipei Story had personality - nope, all bored poker-faced mopers roaming through neon-lit tedium. Pretty empty. And ends with a killing, naturally. Of the four Yang films I've seen, three end with a quiet angry little guy killing someone with a knife - the fourth with a guy blowing his brains out.

  • Duncan Gray's rating of the film Taipei Story

    Of the four Yang films I've seen, this is loosest, but his loving eye comes through: actions that may seem paradoxical are instead relatable in a cast of characters who have been deposited into adulthood and left to grapple with a mixture of indecision, insecurity, and regret. Note the bookended structure: empty rooms that promise a new life, but finally with a guarded distrust that the promise can be fulfilled.

  • Jason's rating of the film Taipei Story

    A breathtaking and utterly controlled vision of divided social space, divided generational gestalt, divided cultural legacy, divided couples, and divided souls (the selves, here, are indeed perilously divided from themselves). A humbling level of stylistic / formal control and structural sophistication here, belying the fact that this is merely Yang's second feature proper. This is a bleak, high-impact knockout.

  • joey Noodles's rating of the film Taipei Story

    'Look at these new cars, where did they come from?' Shattering, a great film from Edward Yang, my first exposure to his work and I am already seeing why people call him one of the masters. The attention to detail within subtle direction makes the emotions conjured by Yang overwhelming. HHH is great, I never thought of him as an actor but he does a fine job, but the city is the star of this one, really. 5/5

  • Yang's rating of the film Taipei Story

    Not as grand as Yi YI and ABSD or as innovative and complex as the Terrorizers, but Taipei Story is arguably Yang at his most efficient. Packs the deterioration of a relationship, the modernisation of a city, a sweeping look at intergenerational differences, and the push and pull of the past and future on the present as concisely and subtly as one could imagine. Consistently beautiful, especially the night shots.

  • waywardwaters's rating of the film Taipei Story

    For the capital of a country divided between unification and independence, any dream of panacea is eviscerated amidst disposable careers, vacuous friends and consumerist isolation in a cimmerian wasteland of modernization. All relationships are as vacant as the commodified walls of a rented working space. A jock is buried in impotent rage with no future while a nerd becomes fodder for the machine with no history.

  • Emma Ikikeiram's rating of the film Taipei Story

    Felt a bit slow and didn't manage to attract my full attention throughout the film. However the imagery is beautiful and the characters are well developed. 3.5

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