Awarded the prestigious Golden Palm at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival, this intimate portrait centers around a middle-class family in Taipei as they live through personal everyday quandaries whilst pondering the harder questions in life.
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An interesting note: Min-min, after her breakdown, is pondering her life, looking out the windows of her workplace. A red traffic signal far below blinks in time to the beat of her heart, the reflection of it in the glass superimposed directly on her heart.
Yang's masterpiece Yi Yi uses it's three hours better than most other films, showing us the essence of life. Birth, first love and a wedding are all part of the beauty of life, but there is also a suicide attempt, a murder and a natural death. This is one of those films that I will come back to again and again. Next up, Taipei Story, A Brighter Summer Day and The Terrorizers. Can't wait ! Highly recommended.
Yi Yi is a film about cinema itself and as Yang-Yang suggests, the job of a photographer (a filmmaker?) is to provide us with perspectives we cannot find on our own. Yi Yi is all about balancing the pursuit of the material and the spiritual, and how difficult modern urban life makes that quest; but also how, once we gain perspective, we can be satisfied just in the trying.
This is one of the most harrowing depictions of the discontents of modern life I've seen in cinema. Yang's mise en scene is very placid to engender the naturalistic style, but it also exhibits some poetic cinematography, particularly with the characters being seen through reflexions on windows and mirrors. Contemplative cinema at its best. Ozu fans take note.