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New Left Review 11, September-October 2001

An interview with the director, in which he recounts his beginnings in the movies, and talks of the economic and political conditions of film production in Taiwan.



How did you first come to movies?

My father—he worked in a bank in Shanghai before coming to Taiwan but came from a village—went to the movies once a week, taking me along, at a time when that wasn’t so common. So I breathed in films from a very early age. My other love was comic-books—Japanese-style manga, with complicated narratives. I was good at drawing, and liked making up stories, so I would draw cartoon scenes for my classmates which made me popular in school. At home I read a fantasy version of The Romance of the Three Kingdoms secretly, at the age of nine, and later devoured classical Chinese novels, and foreign ones if I’d seen film versions of them, like Doctor Zhivago. Story-telling was always central to my life.

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Edward Yang, ‘Taiwan Stories’, NLR 11: £3

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