New Digital Restoration

  • Introduction

    Weihong Bao is associate professor in the Department of Film and Media and the Chinese Program of the East Asian Languages and Cultures Department, UC Berkeley.


Virginie Ledoyen, Tang Tsung-sheng, Lawrence Ko, Chang Chen,

Mahjong is Edward Yang’s blackly comic, almost comic-book portrait of a rapacious Taipei lowlife—merely the higher echelons stripped of pretense. An essentially centerless film centers around Red Fish, de facto leader of a gang of young toughs (with soft centers), who include a gigolo and a canny spiritualist. When Red Fish’s father goes into hiding from the underworld figures to whom he owes his soul, the boys are called into action. However, as they are continually distracted by sex, which is the neon calling card of the society they hope to enter, they are little threat to anyone but themselves. Running circles around the boys’ world is a British entrepreneur whose elitism betrays the desperate straits of the carpetbagger, and a French woman who, unaccountably, loves him: love among predators in a boomtown. Set at a frantic pitch and pace, challenging us to keep track of its moves, Mahjong is cast as a game in which players, not tiles, are discarded one by one and there is no winning hand.

  • Edward Yang
  • Li Yixu
  • Li Long-yu
  • English
  • Mandarin
  • with English subtitles
Print Info
  • Color
  • DCP
  • 121 mins
  • Janus Films

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