Film is one of the most subjective forms of media that exists. I could go to great lengths explaining why I feel like Quentin Tarantino’s pictures are cliché, self-involved & exploitative. Many would disagree.
In 2000 I had the opportunity to view filmmaker Edward Yang’s first and last film distributed in North America, a film called “Yi Yi”. A multi layered long-winded drama set in Taiwan, which put simply is about life. The picture documents mental and spiritual development in a large group of characters from different age groups and classes. The film’s most common reoccurring theme is the relationship between art and business, a theme very common in Yang’s work. By the time the credits rolled I was a train wreck, sitting by myself in a packed theater, sandwiched between two elderly couples, balling my eyes out. He’s got it, I thought. The human condition, the meaning of life. Edward Yang has the answers! Being about as emotionally stable as a cocaine addict coming down from a three day bender, I finally felt like I had a purpose in life. I had to get on the phone and quick. It was my responsibility to share this life changing experience with as many people as physically possible!
Unfortunately it took nearly two years before I could get my hands on a copy of Yi Yi. As soon as I unwrapped the DVD, the first thing I did was pull my mother aside and force her to watch it. About fifteen minutes into the picture my mother could no longer take it. She was looking at just about everything in the room, but the television, digging for objects in between the couch that she could play with. Angrily I yelled at my mother “watch the film!” She honest to god put in her best efforts, but when she discovered the picture was over 3 hours long, she could no longer withstand the “torture”. “What’s wrong with you? That has to be the most boring thing I have ever seen in my entire life. I would rather watch paint dry,” Pissed off at her reception of “the greatest film in the world” I told my mother she was a philistine and ejected the DVD. The next day I went over to a friend’s house with the DVD and got a near identical response. I think she even mentioned something about paint drying.
Here’s what I am getting at. Cinema wouldn’t exist without opinions. I have a tendency to gravitate towards contemplative films. I have always felt that great motion pictures are capable of telling us more about ourselves. Contrary to how I may have felt in my teens, it’s ridiculous to believe that one filmmaker’s vision should appeal to everyones sensibility & tastes. I created this blog as an outlet to share what I love with others. If any of the information posted leads someone to discover their Yi Yi I am thrilled, however I have to confess. I am in this for selfish reasons. Constantly watching emotionally demanding motion pictures can be quite taxing. Writing about them can be quite therapeutic.