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Watch of the Week Edition 1: Edward Yang’s Yi Yi

How can one begin to tackle the condition of living a life? What binds us together? Which observations do we make that affect our future? How could we live without sorrow? There are too many questions that can be asked about life and the purpose we should fulfill before our eventual end. Edward Yang, director, writer, and pioneer during the Taiwanese New Wave, poses these questions with such authentic grace and subtle care that they slip by our minds only to hit like a truck when we’re knocking on death's door. 

Yi Yi establishes itself as a humble family drama, beginning with a wedding and ending with a funeral. Brushing its characters like a Jackson Pollock painting; weaving in and out of events, both significant and insignificant, driven by an unseeable motive. And with the grandest canvas Yang crafts an intimate portrait of life with five characters. A keenly curious child, a teen seeking for a stable foundation, a middle-aged man caught in the energy-draining tedium of work, a middle-aged woman in search of happiness and purpose, and an old woman in a coma acting as a somber reminder of life’s end for our family. 

The poetic balance of these threads prove to be a profound movement of emotion that is entirely too difficult to properly put to words. Yang’s real, beautiful, and heartbreaking swansong of a masterpiece paints the overwhelming task of life not only to remind us of it, but to remind us about the immense importance of art and its necessary ability to challenge us and to teach us. 

Yi Yi - Edward Yang: 5/5

Films I watched this week, 2/14 - 2/20:

Gladiator - Ridley Scott: 3.5/5

Tampopo - Juzo Itami: 4.5 / 5

Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One - William Greaves: 4/5

Cleo from 5 to 7 - Agnes Varda: 5/5

Goodfellas - Martin Scorsese: 5/5

Ex Machina - Alex Garland: 4.5/5

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