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Harvard Film Archive to present ‘Chronicles of Changing Times. The Cinema of Edward Yang’ from March 29-May 22

  • Date:2024-02-29

The Harvard Film Archive will present “Chronicles of Changing Times. The Cinema of Edward Yang” from March 29 to May 22, 2024. The program brings together all of Edward Yang’ s (1947-2007) feature-length films to pay tribute to Yang, a leading figure of the Taiwan New Cinema. Kaili Peng, the widow of Yang, will introduce the first two screenings of the retrospective on March 29 and 30.

The Taipei Cultural Center in New York is delighted to collaborate with the Harvard Film Archive in showcasing the acclaimed Taiwanese director, Edward Yang, and his impactful array of films. Thanks to the Taiwan Film and Audiovisual Institute's (TFAI) advancements in digital restoration technology, we now have the opportunity to revisit these timeless cinematic masterpieces, including those directed by Edward Yang.

Born in Shanghai and brought to Taiwan by his family in 1949, Yang grew up appreciating cosmopolitan Taipei’s cultural riches, yet he never aims to merely flatter modern life. Yang dissects the alienation and hypocrisy of contemporary society through his “New Taipei Trilogy”—A Confucian Confusion (1994), Mahjong (1996), and Yi Yi (2000). Yang won Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival in France in 2000 for Yi Yi, and the film also ranked eighth on the BBC's list of the 21st Century's 100 greatest films.

“In exposing the problems associated with urban alienation, the dominance of capitalist and materialist thinking, and the increasing opacity of human intimacy, he let the city of Taipei, with its unique history and complicated identity, become a marvelous site for the world to contemplate perennial questions such as the meaning of life, the pursuit of happiness, the knowledge of the self, and the challenges of the individual’s navigation with broader social forces, “ according to the Harvard Film Archive ‘s online introduction for the retrospective.

After receiving his graduate degree in electrical engineering from the University of Florida in the mid-1970s, Yang stayed in the US, working as an engineer for around seven years. When he turned thirty, he made up his mind to pursue filmmaking, which he had been deeply passionate about. Yang came back to Taiwan in early 1980s and launched a twenty-year career, inaugurated by the film In Our Time (1982), followed by That Day, on the Beach (1983), Taipei Story (1985), Terrorizers (1986) and A Brighter Summer Day (1991). Through filmmaking, Yang demonstrates insights and critical visions ahead of his time in terms of urban representation, gender power, political reflection, historical violence, and social change.

"Well, whenever someone asks me how I ended up on this path of filmmaking, I find the question itself quite interesting. They always say 'this path of filmmaking' and use the word 'walk.' And that's right. Back then, I was like sitting in a spacious and comfortable air-conditioned car, and suddenly I realized that the car wouldn't stop until the final destination. How boring! So, I jumped off the car, and till this day, I'm still walking, walking this path." This is what the young Edward Yang, who transitioned from computer engineering to filmmaking in 1985, said. 

For more information, please visit:

《Chronicles Of Changing Times. The Cinema of Edward Yang》

Harvard Film Archive (24 Quincy Street, in Cambridge, Massachusetts)



Yi Yi

March 29|7:00 pm (QA session with Kaili Peng)

May 3|7:00 pm

A Brighter Summer Day

March 30|6:00 pm (QA session with Kaili Peng)

May 4|6:00 pm

A Confucian Confusion

March 31|7:00 pm


April 7|3:00 pm

April 19|7:00 pm


April 8|7:00 pm

April 20|9:00 pm

That Day, on the Beach

April 15|7:00 pm

Taipei Story

April 20|7:00 pm

April 21|3:00 pm

In Our Time

April 22|7:00 pm

May 5|3:00 pm

May 22|3:00 pm