Yi Yi ★★★★★

Edward Yang's Yi Yi remains one of the best films ever made. It is a quotidian centre, with melodrama at play in the background. It is almost an inverse melodrama. The main characters, the three central leads, are adjacent to suicide attempts, a murder, a wedding, a funeral, explosive emotional characters, but also at a remove. Their immediate concerns are skewed slightly differently, first love, burgeoning intelligence, regret. They are in a family melodrama, but their lives are presented with honesty. Edward Yang's best moments are his quick sketches of familial life; there are so many perfect touches in Yi Yi it would be impossible to list them. He has a natural flair for the heartfelt and awkward and how they interact.

Yi Yi is never going to be a fashionable film, it isn't cool. It is too sincere for that, but Yang imbues it with a light touch, so airy that it floats from the screen. It has a traditional structure, traditional presentation, but characters that cannot help but move you. The cumulative effect of the 173 minutes is really quite strong. The family have moved on, but, like in real life, not by much and not significantly. The more things change, the more they stay the same. However, it is the moments you remember. A film of moments, of scenes, built to impress forever.

One of cinema's great family melodramas, that slyly quiets the genre with its still centre, and its knack for gentle comedy. Edward Yang was one of the greats.

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