Based on a true story, primarily on a conflict between two youth gangs, a 14-year-old boy's girlfriend conflicts with the head of one gang for an unclear reason, until finally the conflict comes to a violent climax.
When a well known businessman goes missing, owing $100m to Taipei's underworld, two hoods decide to follow his son, the leader of a youth gang. A small group of trendy foreigners gets caught up in the action.
An innocent young man witnesses violence breaks out after an isolated village is inflamed by the arrival of a circus and its peculiar attractions, a giant whale and a mysterious man named "The Prince".
Each member of a family in Taipei asks hard questions about life's meaning as they live through everyday quandaries. NJ is morose: his brother owes him money, his mother is in a coma, his wife suffers a spiritual crisis when she finds her life a blank, his business partners make bad decisions against his advice, and he reconnects with his first love 30 years after he dumped her. His teenage daughter Ting-Ting watches emotions roil in their neighbors' flat and is experiencing the first stirrings of love. His 8-year-old son Yang-Yang is laconic like his dad and pursues truth with the help of a camera. "Why is the world so different from what we think it is?" asks Ting-Ting. Written by
Issei Ogata's English dialog was re-written and even improvised during the shooting by Ogata himself. Yang wanted to have his Japanese character speaking realistically, not in the stereotypical manner Japanese characters in English-speaking films often do. See more »
Why are we afraid of the first time? Every day in life is a first time. Every morning is new. We never live the same day twice. We're never afraid of getting up every morning. Why?
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This is without a doubt the best film of 2000, a masterpiece of sublety and understatement. It is long--just under three hours--but during that three hours, the entire range of human experience is covered. It is about life--that's it. But, to make a statement about life, you have to illustrate it with lives, and this Yang does exquisitely. There is a tragic undercurrent running through this film, and while I was watching it I thought of Thoreau's observation that "most men lead lives of quiet desperation." Yet, in spite of the travails the film's characters undergo, it is ultimately a work of affirmation. This is about as good as the art of cinema can get.
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