CC: Taipei Story (1985)

2019/20 SEASON!

Thursday, February 06, 2020 - Thursday, February 06, 2020

Taipei Story (1985)

Thursday, February 06, 2020 @ 7:00 PM
Plaza Theatre
- 1133 Kensington Road NW, Calgary, AB
$12 General | $10 Members/Seniors/Students | $40 5-Pack Punch Pass | $99 Season Pass

The first film in our Taiwanese New Wave series, Taipei Story presents an insightful, multifaceted portrait of a relationship unraveling.

Using the sights, sounds, and surfaces of a modernizing Taipei as his material, Edward Yang fashioned his first masterpiece Taipei Story (1985), a piercingly insightful, multifaceted portrait of a relationship unraveling.

Lung, a washed-up baseball player turned fabric salesman (played by fellow New Wave director Hou Hsiao-hsien) returns from an extended American business trip to find himself drifting away from his long-term girlfriend Chin (Tsai Chin), a well-to-do executive assistant in property development. As Chin works to pay off the mortgage to her new apartment, their upper-middle-class lives begin to unravel; money is not as flush as they thought, family pressures begin to mount, and Lung’s nostalgia for his baseball days begins to weigh him down.

Yang weaves together his delicate, entrancing narrative through carefully-observed details, an assured eye for visual compositions, and subtle mastery of offscreen sound. The tapestry that emerges captures not only the complexities of a strained relationship, but also of a city and a society in the jaws of an “economic miracle”.

- Written by Kevin Dong


In the early 1980s, Taiwanese cinema was at a crossroads. Nobody was watching locally made melodramas or kung fu movies anymore, instead opting for films from Hong Kong. Taiwanese society was also rapidly changing, with soaring high-tech economic growth driving people into the concrete jungles of Taipei and the cities. To revitalize the film industry, the state-run Central Motion Picture Corporation turned to a time-tested method to revitalize national cinemas – give the reins over to young filmmakers. These filmmakers, including Hou Hsiao-hsien, Edward Yang, and Tsai Ming-liang, pursued a radical break from the previous stylistic and aesthetic traditions, favouring location shooting, long takes, and deliberate editing to reflect the rapidly changing world around them. Each responded to the alienation wrought by globalization in their own unique ways: Hou with pensive reflection, Yang with meticulous exhumation, and Tsai with melancholy detachment. With this series, Calgary Cinematheque presents five key films from one of film history’s most influential movements.

About Calgary Cinematheque

We are a non-profit film society dedicated to presenting significant, challenging, and essential works of cinema art in Calgary. During our season, which runs from October to April, we screen films weekly, in curated programs which situate each film in a thematic and historical context. We do this because we believe cinema is an essential form of artistic, social, and political expression. Audiences should be able to engage with a wide range of cinematic expression, not only with what is commercially viable. We believe in the power of sharing these experiences with other people in a theatrical setting and we strive to cultivate a community around that experience.  

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NOTE: The showtimes listed on come directly from the theatres' announced schedules, which are distributed to us on a weekly basis. All showtimes are subject to change without notice or recourse to