Taipei Story

Director: Edward Yang
Year Released: 1985
Rating: 1.5

Former baseball player Lung (filmmaker Hou Hsiao-Hsien) returns to Taiwan from California and gets back together with girlfriend Chin (Tsai Chin), but she gets let go from her job and then her father runs into money problems, or something to that effect.  The fact that Hou co-wrote the screenplay explains a lot: it's meandering and frustratingly opaque (just like his own films), and instead of genuine drama it's just despair masquerading as artistry.  There are small bits of "symbolism" (if you could even call it that) in it - like Chin's constantly wearing sunglasses to "block" things out and the spectre of America (the dancing Pepsi can, MLB, Michael Jackson, Marilyn Monroe) and Japan and China looming overhead - but it's up to you, the viewer, to tie them together and convince yourself this is a larger statement about ... well, whatever you want it to be.