That Day, on the Beach | Chicago Reader

That Day, on the Beach

Generally credited with launching the Taiwanese New Wave, Edward Yang's 1983 debut feature broke with conventional narrative formulas to tell a dramatically ragged, formally opened-out story of generational discontent in modern-day Taipei. Two former schoolmates—one a jaded but successful pianist, the other a disillusioned housewife—meet to reminisce about their lives; the secrets they unearth are of a banal, soapy sort, familiar from countless Barbara Stanwyck sagas of the 50s, though Yang buries them in such a dense nest of flashbacks that every revelation seems infinitely more complicated (and confusing) than it ought to. Some interesting bits to be extracted, though the controversy that surrounded the film in Taiwan will likely be lost on audiences here. In German, Mandarin, and Taiwanese with subtitles. 104 min.

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