A historical drama titled "A City of Sadness," (????) directed by Taiwanese Hou Hsiao-hsien (???), has topped the list of the 100 best films in Asia, in the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF)'s latest rankings.
The 1989 award-winning film, which tells the story of a family caught up in the events of Taiwan's "White Terror" era, climbed to No. 1 this year on the BIFF's list, moving up from fifth place in the previous rankings.
Two other Taiwanese films, both directed by the late Edward Yang (???), were also ranked among the top 10 films in Asia in the most recent BIFF Asian Cinema 100 Ranking. "A Brighter Summer Day," (?????????) a 1991 drama about two youth gangs, was ranked third, while the 2000 romance "Yi Yi: A One and a Two" (??) was listed in 10th place by the BIFF.
The South Korean film festival's list is updated every five years by curators from around the world, with the aim of highlighting and promoting Asian cinema internationally.
The previous edition of the rankings, released in 2015 as a part of the 20th BIFF, had shortlisted 113 movies, including Yang's "A Brighter Summer Day" and Hou's "A City of Sadness," which were also in the top 10.
When "A City of Sadness" premiered in 1989, it was highly controversial, as it tackled a dark period in Taiwan's era of authoritarian rule and came on the heels of the country's lifting of martial law after 38 years.
Among its many accolades, including Best Director and Best Male Actor in Taiwan's 26th Golden Horse Awards in 1989, the film won the Golden Lion award and the UNESCO Prize at the Venice Film Festival the same year.
Meanwhile, films by the late director Yang have also been gaining greater recognition, including "A Bright Summer Day," which also referenced the events of the "White Terror" period.
The film took home the 28th Golden Horse Awards for Best Original Screenplay and Best Feature Film in 1991, and it also won in the latter category at the Asia-Pacific Film Festival in Taipei in 1991.
The lead actor, 14-year old Taiwanese Chang Chen (??), has since become an international star, appearing most recently in the Hollywood sci-fi blockbuster "Dune."
Yang's last film "Yi Yi," which incorporated a careful study of family relationships, earned him the Best Director award at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival, a first for a Taiwanese filmmaker.
The movie was also ranked as the eighth greatest of the 21st century in a 2016 BBC poll and was listed among the 100 Best Films of the 21st Century by the British newspaper, The Guardian, in 2019.
Hou and Yang, along with Taiwan-based Malaysian Tsai Ming-liang (???), are considered among the most representative filmmakers of the Taiwanese New Wave cinema period 1980-1990.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel