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Yi Yi (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]

4.0 out of 5 stars 71 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

The extraordinary, internationally embraced Yi Yi (A One and a Two . . .), directed by the late Taiwanese master Edward Yang (A Brighter Summer Day), follows a middle-class family in Taipei over the course of one year, beginning with a wedding and ending with a funeral. Whether chronicling middle-age father NJ’s tentative flirtations with an old flame or precocious young son Yang-Yang’s attempts at capturing reality with his beloved camera, the filmmaker deftly imbues every gorgeous frame with a compassionate clarity. Warm, sprawling, and dazzling, this intimate epic is one of the undisputed masterworks of the new century.

Special Features

Newly restored digital transfer, with DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack

Audio commentary by writer-director Edward Yang and Asian-cinema critic Tony Rayns

Video interview with Rayns about Yang and the New Taiwan Cinema movement

U.S. theatrical trailer

Original English subtitle translation by Yang and Rayns

PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film writer Kent Jones and notes from the director

Product Details

  • Actors: Nianzhen Wu, Elaine Jin, Issey Ogata, Kelly Lee, Jonathan Chang
  • Directors: Edward Yang
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Mandarin Chinese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • DVD Release Date: March 15, 2011
  • Run Time: 173 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,439 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Yi Yi (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Once in a while you walk out of the theatre and you find yourself giving a big sigh. When that happens, it's not because you're tired about a movie you just have seen. On the contrary. In my case it means that I just experienced an artform that cannot be compared with any other kind of art. Yi Yi is a good example of this. For those who watch carefully, they will discover that the story of Yi Yi is not more than a saga, perhaps even a soap plot of a ordinary middle class family in Taipei. But those who have patience to go beyond the facade of the ordinary, they will see a movie dealing about individualism, childhood, commitments, second chances, urban loneliness, broken promises, families, despair and death. But Yi Yi also shows us the small qualities of life: humour, laugther, life questions posed by a diligent and intelligent young kid, first love, courage, the meaning of life and the search for happiness. But Yi Yi is told without the explosivity of American Beauty. Instead, we witness (instead of watching passively) most of the narrative through windows and doors. Just as we're the neighbours of the protagonists of this film. Sometimes we will find ourselves shedding a tear. Sometimes we laugh. And that, my friend, is the reality of life. Shame that this one was overlooked by the Academy Award Association. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon couldn't be a match to this one.
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By A Customer on June 12, 2001
Format: DVD
Ostensibly, Edward Yang's Yi Yi (A one and a two) is a movie focusing on a family in contemporary Taipei, living through exceptional and unexceptional challenges that any one of us might be confronted with. But what the film really succeeds in capturing through its characters and events is the enormity of human existence; the challenges and rewards of living on this earth. It does so in a slow, penetrating manner that works its magic during the film, but even more so once after the film has ended.
The movie is rich with well developed characters and subplots that justify its three hour length. Yet in the course of all the seemingly tumultuous events that take place, little changes in the long term once the credits roll. But then, everything has changed; the movie begins with a wedding, tosses in a birth in the middle, and ends with a funeral. In between all these greater moments are the smaller though no less important things in life that almost every one of us can relate to at some level; love lost, regret, guilt, second chances, self-expression, happiness, sadness. The movies ambitions seem almost epic until you realize that there is nothing 'epic' about this family and its interactions. That is where the magic of this film really lies. Cultural differences don't matter here; you can always find a way to relate to Yang's characters through their common humanity. For many, we see emotional reservation, but Yang is able to expose even these characters through their confessions to their grandmother, who is comatose after a stroke. And then there is Yang Yang, the little boy of the family who is able to expose the nature of truth and exploration in a way only a little boy could.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Cinema doesn't get any better than this. If you haven't seen this film then don't hesitate - buy the DVD right now, and play it when you're most in need of inspiration - it will dispel any doubts you might harbour about the power of film, the worth of art. The ability of Edward Yang to fuse imagination with, it must be assumed, an amazing honesty in reflecting upon his own life, to share what he holds most dear, and what evokes the most wonder, is something we, as an audience, can only marvel at and give thanks for. To say that 'Yi-Yi' inhabits the points of view of a child, an adolescent, an adult, a parent, a matriarch, the points of view of both male and female, that of the earnest, the honest, the ironic and idealistic, is to say that it truly touches upon life's richness. At one point in the film a character comments that films allow us to live life three times over, that's to say, they show us three times as much life as we could live by ourselves - most films give lie to this optimism, but 'Yi-Yi' itself makes such a statemest seem miserly. One of the best films I've ever seen.
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A Kid's Review on May 30, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
Yi yi (A One and A Two) is a wonderful, intriguing film in its own rights. The movie focuses on the intertwining lives of a modern Chinese family living in Taipei, Taiwan. At the beginning, a wedding takes place. After the wedding, things start happening.
There's the father, who's part of a major computer games business, who might go bankrupt unless they strike a deal with a company. The father, NJ, is faced with trust and honesty when he meets the Japanese owner of Ota, a games company. His friends are also thinking about meeting up with Ato, the copycat of Ota. His wife, is going through a mid-life crisis type situation. Her mother just had a stroke and has a coma. The doctor says that Grandmother can only hear what they say, but it will help her feel better. So, the wife is thinking that her life is empty and retreats to a peaceful mountain for answers. Their children are going through major changes too. The oldest daughter, Ting Ting, is learning how to love when her friend, Lili, dumps her boyfriend. When Lili's ex-boyfriend starts dating Ting Ting, she has to learn the consequences of breaking up. Her little brother, Yang Yang, is 8 years old and always getting into trouble at school. A girl at school is the object of his affections, and he learns too, about his first love.
This film can definitely change the way you perceive life. It did that to me too. Some people take things for granted. Yi yi is meant to be a movie about simplicity, and I think that's what it is.
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