A Confucian Confusion
Image Credit: A Confusian Confusion c/o Janus Films

A Confucian Confusion

classified 15 S

Restored & Rediscovered


Fri 26 July 20:30

Cinema 3, Watershed

Edward Yang
Chen Li-Mei, Chen Shiang-chyi, Chen Yi-Wen
129 mins, Subtitled, 1994, Taiwan
Primary language

Taiwanese auteur Edward Yang’s status as a legendary director is primarily built on the back of a handful of primarily dramatic films such as A Brighter Summer Day (1991) and Yi Yi: A One and a Two (2000).

A Confucian Confusion breaks this pattern simply by virtue of being a comedy. Yet much of Yang’s primary artistic concerns - the rapidly changing shape of Taiwanese life in the 20th century, generational conflicts, friction between the modern and the traditional - are present here.

We follow a group of twenty-something Taipei City-dwellers in their chaotic inner-city lives. Molly is the head of a PR company; her fiancé thinks she’s having an affair; her sister is a chat-show host; her sister’s husband is the author of a novel which places a reborn Confucius in modern-day Taiwan and awakens in horror to a contemporary society supposedly built in part on his philosophy.

Ambitious, searching, and yearning, A Confucian Confusion is as light and lyrical as any of Yang’s masterworks.

The new 4K restoration was undertaken by the Taiwan Film and Audiovisual Institute with the support of Kaili Peng and Kailidoscope Pictures. With thanks to Janus.

With an introduction by critic and writer Ian Wang.

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