A-yuan and A-yun are both from the small mining town of Jio-fen. In the city, A-yuan is an apprentice by day and goes to night school, and A-yun works as a helper at a tailors. Everyone ... See full summary »
A-yuan and A-yun are both from the small mining town of Jio-fen. In the city, A-yuan is an apprentice by day and goes to night school, and A-yun works as a helper at a tailors. Everyone thinks they are meant for each other, so do they. They fail to see time and fate are beyond their control. Written by
In 1960s Taiwan, two young friends move from their small town to the city where they find new jobs & new problems.
Hsaio-hsien Hou based this quietly effective Taiwanese Bildungrsoman on co-scripter Nien-Jen Wu's own experiences. The film is heavily influenced on the one side from Japanese masters like Ozu (though Hou denies this) and from the Italian Neo-Realists whose films inspired Wu. It's the old story of the younger generation ('60s kids from a mining town) leaving the country to try their luck in the big city. A shy, but devoted couple seem to be making a go of it, but life, jobs, family and even military service take a toll on the relationship. It's well observed, especially in the rural sections, and charmingly acted, but the natural flow of events doesn't really stick with you. Hou has trouble balancing the plot strands and particularizing the relationships, asking for a response out of proportion to what we've seen. No doubt this is not a problem for Taiwanese audiences, but then Ozu & De Sica managed the trick, didn't they.
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