an Asian woman in a negligee asleep, uncovered in a small bedalr

In Our Time
(Guang yin de gu shi)

Directed by Edward Yang, Chang Yi, Ko I-Chen and Tao Te-Chen.
With Sylvia Chang, Emily Y. Chang, Lee Li-Chun.
Taiwan, 1982, DCP, color, 110 min.
Mandarin and Min Nan with English subtitles.
DCP source: TFAI

The omnibus film In Our Time initiated radical innovations in terms of aesthetic styles, industry practices and commonly depicted themes, thereby revolutionizing the filmmaking industry in Taiwan and inaugurating the movement of Taiwan New Cinema. The four segments are shot by four young emerging directors and each film—set in different decades from the 1950s to the 1980s—represents roughly one of the four younger stages of life: childhood, adolescence, young adulthood (in college) and married life (as working professionals).

Titled Expectations, sometimes translated as Desires, Edward Yang’s segment features a series of sensitive and expressive vignettes that depict the growing pains of adolescents in mid-60s Taiwan. Yang sees the placement of the second short film as structurally akin to the second movement in a symphony, typically characterized by its lyrical and slow nature. The teenaged Hsiao-Fen (Shi An-Ni) serves as a kind of prototype for other young heroines in Yang’s cinematic corpus. The diversity of the cinematic techniques used in his debut short film accentuates the complexity of the protagonist’s emotional and perceptual experience.



Part of film series

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Chronicles of Changing Times. The Cinema of Edward Yang