Are You Lonesome Tonight? The Films of Edward Yang
Screening Dates
  • March 28 (Thursday) 7:00
  • April 6 (Saturday) 6:00
  • April 8 (Monday) 6:00
  • April 16 (Tuesday) 8:30
New Restoration

Intelligence, a sense of wit, and a refusal to underestimate an audience are far too rare in contemporary cinema not to treasure a film like A Confucian Confusion.”

David Overbey, TIFF

It’s a dangerous time for emotion,” remarks a character in Edward Yang’s barbed black comedy, which follows a dizzying array of rootless characters through 56 fraught hours of career crises, shifting sexual relationships, and gnawing self-doubt. At the centre of this tangled Taipei story is Molly (Ni Shu-Chun), head of the family PR business, who is facing an arranged marriage to the dim heir of another corporate fortune. Molly’s firing of Feng, an aspiring actor biding time in her employ, is the catalyst that sets the film’s chaotic, comic events in motion. A Confucian Confusion is sleek, chic, and hysterical, [and] owes more to Preston Sturges than Michelangelo Antonioni, though all of the characteristic Yang themes are present … The film’s thesis—stated by an overly earnest, struggling writer—is that if Confucius returned to contemporary Taiwan, everyone would adore him, primarily because they consider him an influential and powerful fraud” (TIFF Cinematheque).

In Mandarin with English subtitles

The opening-night screening of A Confucian Confusion on March 28 will include a series introduction by Helena Wu.

Like [all] of Edward Yang’s films, A Confucian Confusion conjures immensities out of the smallest intimacies … It’s only fitting to give him the title bestowed by legions of screaming fangirls upon Birdy (Wang Yeming), and by Confucius’s disciples upon their teacher: the master.”

Emerson Goo, Film Comment

Provocative … The creative energies that fired A Brighter Summer Day are sparkier than ever.”

Tony Rayns, Time Out
Media
Note

Dr. Helena Wu is a Canada Research Chair and assistant professor of Hong Kong Studies in the Department of Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia. She is also the co-convenor of the UBC Hong Kong Studies Initiative. She teaches Hong Kong and Taiwan cinemas as well as literature. She has written on the topics of cinema, literature, and culture for academic journals including Asian Cinema, Screen, and Cultural Studies, and has contributed to the “Cinema and Documentary” volume of The Encyclopedia of Taiwan Studies (Brill, 2023). Her monograph The Hangover After the Handover: Places, Things and Cultural Icons in Hong Kong was published by Liverpool UP in 2020.

Upcoming in this Series

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