The Sandwich Man
With an introduction by Jonathan Rosenbaum
Dirs. Hou Hsiao-hsien, Wan Jen, Tseng Chuang-hsiang. 1983, 105 mins. 35mm. With Chen Po-cheng, Yang Ki-yin. Jointly directed by Hou and two of his close-knit compatriots from the progressive-minded film scene that convened at Edward Yang’s Taipei home, The Sandwich Man, along with 1982’s In Our Time, is widely regarded as comprising the opening shots of what would be called the Taiwanese New Cinema. A portmanteau film comprised of three separate segments illustrating life in Cold War Taiwan, when American influence and money were ubiquitous, the film’s title derives from the subject of the first segment, the Hou-directed The Son’s Big Doll, which concerns an impoverished young man who feeds his family by taking a job as a human signpost.
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