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Sunday, June 8, 2008

YI YI (2000)

The extended running time of this extended-family drama isn’t quite earned in Edward Yang’s multiple POV Taiwanese portrait. Book-ended (actually studded) with family rituals of marriage, birth, death, first love, first love revisited, etc., Yang’s stately, yet emotionally charged handling of encircling domestic dramas, playing out in public & private spaces, is immaculate movie-making. (Only the melodramatic touches toward the end ring false; the film is best at moments of charm & gentle humor.) Aided by a superb compositional eye, graced with miraculous mini-dramas in single long shots and flawlessly cast, the intra-family dramas are satisfying, yet perhaps just miss the emotional epiphany Yang aims for.

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