Promo for the film from Cimatheque's Facebook page, March 10 – cimathe/Facebook
CAIRO – 18 March 2018: Edward Yang's 1985 Taiwanese drama film "'Taipei Story'" will screen at Cimatheque - Alternative Film Centre on March 18, 2018.
Serving as the second feature film produced by Yang, "'Taipei Story'" is an examination both of the personal troubles a couple faces and the very nature of the city they live in.
Taking place in Taiwan, the film follows Lung (Hou Hsiao-Hsien, who is also the film's screenwriter), a former baseball prodigy who has long since passed the glory days, living out his life now as a fabric seller in a run-down shop. Lung wishes to move to the USA to start his life over.
A bitter reminder of his past comes in the form of an old friend from baseball, who is now employed as a taxi driver and struggling in his marriage with a wife addicted to gambling. As they talk about their lives now, the sense of nostalgia for a past forever lost overwhelms them.
Another major character in "'Taipei Story'" is Lung's westernized girlfriend, Ah-Chin (Chin Tsai), who is unemployed and fearful that Lung might be sleeping around. As their relationship slowly drifts away, Chin takes her mind off her worries by hanging around with her sister's friends, a group of hedonistic young women.
The nature of architecture plays a big role in the film as well; much can be learned of the characters just by viewing the room they stand in, and the threat of western globalization is present within the new architecture overtaking Taiwan, representing an end to old traditions.
A solemn yet empathetic exploration of the conflict between old values and new dreams, "'Taipei Story"' served as a huge turning point in the nature of Taiwanese cinema, marking the start of the 'New Taiwanese Cinema' movement. Cinema in Taiwan was primarily a vehicle for government sanctioned films touting conservative values or martial arts and romance, and the 'New Taiwan Cinema' movement was the first to takinge the steps towards creating films that held the same modern standards as cinema in the west, with a deep focus on the characters, their struggles and deeply human desires.
"'Taipei Story'" has gone down in history as a critically acclaimed masterpiece, serving as the western world's introduction to Yang's talents and an introduction to the 'New Taiwanese Cinema'. Yang would later go on to direct critically acclaimed films such as 1991's "'A Brighter Summer Day'" and 2000's "'Yi Yi".'
Cimatheque – Alternative Film Centre, located in downtown Cairo, is a place where the diversity of cinema can be honored and recognized. It invites audiences, critics, artists and film-makers alike to enjoy the immense variety of films they have to offer, with services that include film screenings, a library, workshops and more.