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In Memoriam


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IN MEMORIAM

Obituary Profiles of Entertainment Industry Figures And The Legacies They Leave Behind


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Edward Yang To Be Honored At Pusan FF

 

Tuesday, August 21---------Taiwanese director Edward Yang, who died earlier this summer in July of complications from colon cancer at the age of 59, will be honored at this year's Pusan International Film Festival. The ground-breaking film auteur who helped build Taiwan's new wave cinema of the 1980s, will be honored posthumously with the Asian Filmmaker of the Year Award. Along with Hou Hsiao-Hsien and Tsai Ming-Liang, Yang brought international recognition to Taiwanese cinema with a series of strong films that revealed a society torn between its Asian ancestry and its Western inclinations.The Pusan International Film Festival, which will take place in Pusan, South Korea from October 4 to 12, has become the largest and most respected film festival in Asia, sometimes called the "Asian Sundance" for its commitment to cutting-edge works by international auteurs.

Born on November 6, 1947 in Shanghai, China, Edward Yang became one of the most honored and respected international filmmakers of his generation.  Growing up in Taipei, Yang eventually made his way to California, where he briefly attended USC Film School. He dropped out before getting his degree, discouraged by the programs commercial focus. After working in Seattle for a number of years on the development of microcomputers and defense software, he had a life-changing encounter with the German director Werner Herzog, who gave him an instant education in world cinema and reignited his interest in film.

He eventually wrote the script and served as a production aide on the Hong Kong television movie, THE WINTER OF 1905 (1981), before returning to Taiwan to direct television shows and tv commercials. His big break came in 1982, when he wrote and directed the film short DESIRES (1982), which was included in the compilation film IN OUR TIME (1982). His compelling film about the crumbling of values in urban Taipei signaled the theme that would resonate in all his subsequent work. In the films that followed, TAIPEI STORY (1984), THE TERRORIZER (1986) and A BRIGHTER SUMMER DAY (1991), he explored the influence of American pop culture and the strain on traditional Taiwanese traditions. His films A CONFUCIAN CONFUSION (1995) and MAHJONG (1996) were major international hits and received mutliple prizes on the international film festival circuit.

He reached his career zenith in 2000 with the episodic three-hour film YI YI, which traced several generations of an upwardly mobile South Korean family. The film was the biggest Taiwanese film hit, both in its native country and internationally. The film won many international honors, including the Best Director prize at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival and Best Foreign Film honors from critics organizations in Los Angeles and New York, as well as the National Society of Film Critics. He produced one last film THE TRIGGER in 2002, but was too weak to direct it himself. At his death, he was raising the financing and doing pre-production on the film THE WIND, an animated featured budgeted at $25 Million and to be produced by Jackie Chan. Unfortunately, Yang was never to finish the film and the project may or may not be revived. The gifted filmmaker, only 59 years old at his death, is another casaulty in the rise of cancer all over the globe. One can only imagine the work that could have been created......

Sandy Mandelberger, In Memoriam Editor

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Mandelberger Sandy
(International Media Resources)

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IN MEMORIAM

Obituary Profiles of Entertainment Industry Figures And The Legacies They Leave Behind


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