What would a Taiwanese Woody Allen movie look like? Probably something on the order of Yang’s panoramic satire of life in the material world of 1990s Taipei, the skyline choked by smog and the neon signs of globally branded corporations. With his rapier wit, Yang observes the self-absorption of a gaggle of twenty-something urbanites, including “culture company” impresario Molly (Ni Shujun), her wealthy fiancée (who fears Molly may be cheating on him), her talk-show-host sister, and the sister’s estranged husband, a novelist whose latest book imagines a reincarnated Confucius returning—with considerable horror—to a modern society ostensibly built upon his teachings. Though it signaled a shift in tone from his earlier, more dramatic films, A Confucion Confusion finds Yang once again searching for the soul of a country he no longer quite recognizes.
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