Posts Tagged ‘yi yi’

Best of the Decade, Taiwanese Style

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

By Isabella Tianzi Cai

Yi Yi (dir. Edward Yang)

Yi Yi (dir. Edward Yang)

The Taiwanese film magazine Fun Screen called on 68 filmmakers, film scholars, film critics, as well as other related film personnel to vote for the 10 best Taiwanese pictures produced in the years between 2000 and 2009. They were inspired by a similar poll conducted by dGenerate Films earlier this year concerning the 10 best Chinese-language films also made in the past decade.

The result of Fun Screen’s poll came close to ours: Yi Yi, which ranked no. 4 in dGenerate Films’ top-10 list, clinched the no. 1 position in Fun Screen’s top-10 list; and Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, which ranked no. 9 in our list, came second there. These films were first and second among Taiwanese films in the dGenerate poll.

The introduction of the poll acknowledged the results of the dGenerate poll in inspiring the poll of Taiwanese films: “At Fun Screen, we do not wish to challenge the list, but the list has made us acutely aware of the fact that Taiwanese films still lack a great deal of international recognition.”

As noted by Lin Wenqi, the chief editor of Fun Screen, “the goal of their poll is not about which film ranks higher than another, but is part of an effort to recognize and celebrate local film talent over the past decade. Fun Screen also just recently published 28 special reports with famous Taiwanese film directors over the past 10 years in a book called The Voices from Taiwanese Films.

The results of the Fun Screen poll can be found after the break.


Best Chinese-Language Films of the 2000s: Poll Results

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010


In the Mood for Love by Hong Kong director Wong Kar-wai topped the results of an international poll of the best Chinese-language films of the past decade, conducted by dGenerate Films. The poll included ballots from forty-seven filmmakers, critics, programmers and scholars from around the world. A total of 152 Chinese-language films were cited.

View the full list of ballots from all participants.

In the Mood for Love outpaced a field dominated by mainland Chinese titles, led by Wang Bing‘s seven-hour documentary West of the Tracks and Jia Zhangke‘s historical epic Platform. The two mainland titles are both independent productions made outside the official Chinese state system and have never officially screened in China. Yi Yi, by the late Taiwanese master Edward Yang finished fourth.

The top four titles were each mentioned in at least half of the forty-six ballots submitted by participants. Rounding out the top ten were Jia Zhangke’s Still Life at #5, Jiang Wen’s Devils on the Doorstep at #6, Liu Jiayin’s Oxhide, Lou Ye’s Summer Palace, and Jia Zhangke’s The World tied at #7, and Li Yang’s Blind Shaft and Ang Lee’s transnational blockbuster Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon tied at #9.

Jia Zhangke dominated among directors with seven films mentioned in the poll, three of which finished in the top ten. His films received nearly twice as many mentions as those of the second most-mentioned director, Wong Kar-wai. Works by Taiwanese director Tsai Ming-liang and Chinese director Lou Ye (who is officially banned from making films in China) also featured prominently in the results.

The results suggest a changing of the guard among mainland Chinese filmmakers over the past decade. The highest placing title by a Fifth Generation director was Zhang Yimou‘s Hero at #22. The eight mainland productions placing in the top eleven are from Sixth Generation directors such as Jia Zhangke or Lou Ye, or the post-Generational wave of digital filmmakers such as Wang Bing and Liu Jiayin. And yet, among these mainland films, only The World was approved by the state censors and released theatrically in mainland China.

Three of the top four films – In the Mood for Love, Yi Yi and Platform – have also placed prominently in polls conducted for all cinema of the past decade. The three films placed in the top ten of the Best of Decade Critics’ Poll run by IndieWire and in the top 11 of the poll run by Film Comment. But aside from Jia Zhangke’s films, the remaining titles on the list have fared poorly in these polls (West of the Tracks, #2 in this poll, places at #49 in IndieWire and #85 in Film Comment).

Oxhide, distributed non-theatrically in the U.S. by dGenerate Films, is the top ranking title by a female director. In addition to Oxhide, nine other dGenerate Films titles received mentions in the poll: Before the Flood (Li Yifan and Yan Yu); Betelnut (dir. Yang Heng); Crime and Punishment (Zhao Liang); Ghost Town (Zhao Dayong); Little Moth (Peng Tao); The Other Half (Ying Liang); Taking Father Home (Ying Liang); Timber Gang aka Last Lumberjacks (Yu Guangyi) and Using (Zhou Hao).

The full list of films, as well as top-ranking Chinese-language directors, can be found after the break. View the full list of ballots from all participants.