feedingbrett’s review published on Letterboxd:
Included In Lists:
Criterion Collection - #339
Just recently I have seen Edward Yang’s A Brighter Summer Day, a film that is dense on its themes and intentions that it may feel overwhelming despite the composed flow of its storytelling. That was certainly a film that has improved with me upon reflection, realising aspects of it that were overlooked in the initial viewing.
Edward Yang’s final film, Yi Yi, is a film that takes on a similar flow, but rather radiating a nostalgic and reflective glow, it places itself relatively contemporary as it deals with grand ideas upon the most simplistic and pedestrian of gestures and circumstances. Collectively, the concepts that Yang was playing with didn’t feel as deeply pressed as I would have hoped, however, dramatically, it remains engaging despite its methodical pacing. Characters remain accessible and identifiable, watching them tackle empathetic and timely issues allows the whole experience to be so compelling.
Though strong in its own rights, I found the whole affair to be far less eventful as compared to A Brighter Summer Day, where it’s ambitions managed to capture a deeper portrait and landscape of the narrative. However, these were similar criticisms I shared with A Brighter Summer Day the first time around, and potentially, I would feel differently upon further reading and reflection.