Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Terrorizers (Yang, 1986): Mini-Film Review

Edward Yang's 楊德昌 masterpiece The Terrorizers (1986) 恐怖分子 is one of the few films that I find impossible to praise too highly. I recently re-watched it for the umpteenth time and remain astounded by its opening act which, as a definitive postmodern work, anticipates the multimedia, multi-soundscape, multi-layered editing techniques often attributed to more well-known world cinema films of the 1990s and early 2000s, such as the intro. to Stone's 1991 film JFK--although Yang's technique is methodical and less dramatized, it is more than equal in terms of technique and affect.

Moreover, Yang's narrative style, which interconnects the lives of multiple urban residents of mid-1980s Taipei, perfects this narrative form well before films such as Amores Perros (Iñárritu, 2000), 21 Grams (Iñárritu, 2003), Crash (Haggis, 2004), and Babel (Iñárritu, 2006).

In addition to it's landmark qualities within film history in general, it is equally significant as an unparalleled snapshot of Taiwan in the mid-1980s as the nation transitioned into a new era in terms of its postcolonial condition. I elaborate further on this film, its critical reception, and its representation of this important juncture in Taiwan history in the conclusion of my book on Taiwan film, Transnational Representations (HKUP, 2014).

No comments:

Post a Comment