Desire Lines: Edward Yang’s Films at the Art Gallery Cinema

Desire Lines: Edward Yang’s Films at the Art Gallery Cinema
Image: Still from 'Yi Yi'. Source: AGNSW via Janus Films


The newly restored films of Edward Yang (1947-2007) will be featured at the Art Gallery Cinema on Wednesdays and Sundays from 19th June to 11 August. 

In Australia’s first retrospective of Yang’s work, all seven of his theatrical features will be screened in a dedicated season at Naala Nura, Art Gallery of New South Wales. This includes screenings of newly restored and previously unavailable works A Confucian confusion (1994) and Mahjong (1996).

Background of Edward Yang

Born in Shanghai and raised in Taipei, Yang was passionate about cinema from a young age but first pursued a career as a software engineer in Seattle. But after watching Werner Herzog’s Aguirre, the wrath of God (1972) his passion for film was reignited. 

Propelled by Herzong’s epic and psychologically acute storytelling, Yang returned to Taiwan in 1981. From there he helped champion the Taiwan New Cinema movement alongside creatives such as director Hou Hsiao-hsien and actor Sylvia Chang, creating one of the great new waves of 20th-century cinema.

Described by Yang himself as “writing a very intimate letter to a very good friend”, his work sprawls between critics of urban life and indulging in its pleasures. He wades through the intimacies and intricacies of relationships and character, with the backdrop of booming urban scapes of 1980s and 1990s Taipei. It is an examination of a society in flux, explored with humour and heart. 

Yang’s work reaches a depth of storytelling that blends the intimate with the expansive, featuring precise composition of realist aesthetics with intimate character studies that range from coming of age to romance to satire. 

Don’t miss out on this rare – and free – opportunity to witness the work of a cinematic grandmaster. 

Desire Lines: Edward Yang
Wednesdays and Sundays 19 June – 11 August 2024
AGNSW Naala Nura South building, Lower level 3, Domain Theatre

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