Here's another feather in the cap for Chinese cinema, this time from Edward Yang, a relatively new director (his second feature) who was born on the mainland, studied for a while in the US, and now lives and works in Taiwan TAIPEI STORY is a refreshing, intelligent study of a disintegrating relationship involving a young couple who. on the surface, have everything going for them.
Chin (Cai Qin) is a successful career woman, personal assistant to a woman executive in a computer company. Lon (Hou Xiaoxian) works for a fabric company, but is a bit restless, clinging to memories of his past success as a baseball player and to a former girlfriend, Cwan. who married a Japanese and lives in Tokyo Chin and Lon have been engaged a long time but somehow never got married. Chin is moving into a smart new apartment, and expects Lon to live there with her, but everything goes wrong.
Chin loses her job when her company is taken over; her father starts borrowing large sums of money from her; Ling her younger sister, leads a wild life and needs an abortion; and she suspects that Lon, on a trip to LA to see relatives, stopped over in Tokyo to see Gwan
Lon has his problems too. He gambles away his money, can't decide to take the final step and marry Chin, and is worried for his old friend, Kim, who's fallen on hard times. The relationship starts to fall apart, and ends in an unexpected, futile tragedy.
All this is deftly presented in crisp, telling sequences. Yang shows the breakdown of traditional family life and subtly indicates the uncertainties of life in Taipei itself, with its mighty neighbour becoming more assertive and nothing as permanent
as it used to be.