By Cemile Kavountzis
Updated June 27, 2006 at 04:00 AM EDT
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Yi Yi: The Criterion Collection

type
  • Movie

Taiwanese writer-director Edward Yang follows the ebbs and flows of a family over a year in Yi Yi, a beautiful picture that earned him the Best Director prize at Cannes in 2000. Opening with the clan posing for the groomed photographs of a wedding celebration, the film continues as a moving reflection on the everyday snapshots, both literally and metaphorically, that capture life’s sometimes blurred three-dimensional complexity. Yang’s pipsqueak savant, Yang-Yang, quietly carries around his camera, inconspicuously photographing the backs of adults heads and innocently making profound from-the-mouth-of-babes observations like, ”We can’t see what’s behind us.”

EXTRAS This cineaste’s feast is best re-served by the Criterion Collection: A new high-definition digital transfer and remastered soundtrack do the film’s Biedermeier-like quality justice by crisping the natural light, colors, and sounds of daily life so eloquently distilled by Yang.

Home viewers can watch the film with audio commentary that adds spice from Yang and Asian cinema critic Tony Rayns; Rayns asks meaty questions, like when should a character be introduced, while Yang waxes on everything from casting to cultural mores and his personal experiences. Rayns also contributes a satisfying lecture, ”Taiwan Everyday Realities: Tony Rayns on New Taiwan Cinema and Edward Yang,” peppered with filmmaking history and cultural insight on Taiwan’s emergence as a country and a producer of film. A 20-page companion booklets includes an engaging essay from film critic Kent Jones and production notes from Yang.

Yi Yi: The Criterion Collection

type
  • Movie
mpaa
  • UNRATED
director
  • Edward Yang

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