The 60th New York Film Festival will take place from September 30 to October 16, 2022. “A Confucian Confusion(獨立時代),” by the late director Edward Yang(楊德昌), has been selected for the Revivals slate, a program dedicated to showcasing important works from renowned filmmakers that have been digitally remastered, restored, and preserved with the assistance of generous partners.
The film won three Golden Horse awards, including Best Original Screenplay, when it was released in 1994, and it received international attention from the Cannes and New York film festivals. After 28 years in storage, the print was restored and scanned in 4K by Taiwan Film and Audiovisual Institute thanks to a grant from Edward Yang’s widow, Kaili Peng.
A Confucian Confusion was the first movie in Yang’s “Taipei Trilogy,” as the film was followed by “Mahjong(麻將)” in 1996 and “A One and a Two(一一)” in 2000. The melodrama is set in 1990s Taipei, a decade when Taiwan's official foreign exchange reserves totaled $73 billion, a level exceeded only by Japan at the time . The streets of Taipei were thus filled with luxurious cars in addition to the usual motorcycles.
Yang’s script focuses on urbanism and the relationships between people. “With his rapier wit, Yang observed the self-absorption of a gaggle of 20-something urbanites” and searched “for the soul of a country he no longer quite recognizes,” according to the 2022 New York Film Festival’s description of the film. As an ostensibly puritanical society emerged in Taiwan, confusion between appearance and reality arose, as noted in Stephen Holden’s review for the New York Times in 1994, when the movie was featured at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall for the 1994 New York Film Festival.
Presented by Film at Lincoln Center, the New York Film Festival has been a cornerstone of New York film culture since 1963, introducing national audiences to the most essential new cinematic works from around the world. For more information, please visit: https://www.filmlinc.org/nyff2022/films/a-confucian-confusion/
Photo courtesy of Taiwan Film and Audiovisual Institute
A Confucian Confusion screening information:
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 13 9:15 PM
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 14 5:45 PM
Walter Reade Theater (165 West 65th St)
Francesca Beale Theater (144 West 65th St)