14 October 2009

Skandies: Best Films of the Decade, #9



Yi Yi (A One and a Two...) (2000, Edward Yang)
originally placed: #1, 2000.

30 comments:

Kza said...

Well folks, when you're right 52% of the time, you're wrong 48% of the time.

Mike Lee said...

Whew. Both because I predicted it and because it's one of my favorite five films of the decade.

Nictate said...

I didn't think it'd make the cut. Congratulations, Ryan.

Sam Smith said...

Any links to great pieces written about this film?

Jeff said...

Here you go, Sam: www.imdb.com/Reviews/275/27536

Private Joker said...

Am I the only person for whom Yi Yi didn't hold up on second viewing? I mean I loved it to death when I saw it in the theater (I rarely give 10/10 and this got it -- for reference, there were no 10s in '05 & '06) but on DVD when I saw it again a few years later it didn't pack the same punch.

I wasn't sure why -- maybe it was the small screen, maybe it's that I knew where it was going and so gone was one of its major initial pleasures: watching just to see where these characters would take us. Or it could have just been a bad day. How many of you have given it multiple viewings, and for those who have, did it improve? Did it suffer? Did it stay the same?

I would have thrown this thing mega points if I was just going off memory from 9 years ago, but that second viewing took it off my top 10 of the decade entirely.

Ryan said...

* Mike: Had pegged you as somebody who might've given Yi Yi a B+/"Must See" kind of grade. Anyway, you think the ultra-passiondexy O Brother, Where Art Thou? has a shot?


* Nictate, thanks. But I'm pretty sure there are bigger fans of this picture in the AVB. And I'm also pretty sure Yi Yi will turn up prominently in other polls.

* Zach: I think the picture does lose quite a bit on the teevee. Granted, my one video viewing was with the T. Rayns commentary, but the picture's rhythm and novelistic density demands the kind of full attention only a theatrical viewing can really provide. By contrast, the picture held up well each of the three times I've seen the picture theatrically.

Nictate said...

"Anyway, you think the ultra-passiondexy O Brother, Where Art Thou? has a shot?"

Ooh, here's hoping.

Ryan:
For some reason, I've always associated Yi Yi with you. I think it's because you championed it so passionately early on.

Private Joker:
I remember being happily lulled by Yi Yi on the big screen, but can't imagine it holding up. I need to watch it again to test the theory, especially now that it's gotten this Skandies honor.

msic said...

I've been rather afraid to revisit Yi Yi, partly because my enthusiasm for it (it got a 10 from me at the time -- although my early grades are all out of whack) began to seem like part of an overall naivete. I was just figuring out how to be a cinephile at the time.

That's Ed, the 8 minute clip on YouTube was mesmerizing. So maybe it's time to look again.

Mike Lee said...

OB,WAT was a 193/14 in 2000, which gives it ~14 points per voter. Not bad, but Yi Yi, same year, was 265/18, almost 15 points per voter on a bigger base.

That said, The Man Who Wasn't There was a 209/17, which isn't a much larger vote total than O Brother and with a weaker passiondex. But that was no. 18, and I don't think less than 200 points originally is going to cut it at no. 8 or higher unless it has (a) an extraordinary passiondex or (b) was somewhat underseen at the time. (See Tropical Malady (192/11) on the first count and maybe the second.)

Mike Lee said...

Grammar slightly off in last post. Oh well. That's why I have my actors write my films for me.

Mike Lee said...

Against my better judgement, I'm going to try to guess the final eight perfs. Absolutely no promises.

* Maggie Cheung, In The Mood For Love: Early in the decade seems to be helping everyone; 280 points despite facing Naomi; the film's (I believe) first-place finish will probably help her down-ballot.

* Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood: 519 points in the toughest of the four acting categories (TOT4AC).

* Ryan Gosling, Half Nelson: Nine voters over 20 points in the TOT4AC.

* Hafsia Herzi, The Secret of the Grain: Supporting actress, I know, but obscene passiondex and underseen at the time (215/11). Plus, there has to be something semi-weird left.

* Isabelle Huppert, The Piano Teacher: Gut feeling, but even though Haneke voters aren't going to line up behind a single film, I think they may behind this performance. And decent initial voting.

* Heath Ledger, Brokeback Mountain: 439 points in the TOT4AC.

* Uma Thurman, Kill Bill, Vol. 1: 407 points; really getting votes for both films.

* Naomi Watts, Mulholland Dr.: 591 points. Five hundred. Ninety. One. Points.

Nictate said...

C'mon, Gosling. You can do it, laddie.

Ryan said...

Le Mike, take out Herzi (though I admire the out-on-a-limb guess) and Cheung, and replace with Denzel (Training Day) and Campbell Scott Roger Dodger.

If I'm right, this would mean that neither the beloved Russell Crowe nor the much-feted PS Hoffman lands in the top 20. How perverse that these two great thespians would be shut out for delivering too many great performances and splitting the vote.

mjsicinski said...

Ryan, there's no way Denzel's in there for Training Day. That's one of those perfs to which time has been seriously unkind.

Amalric jumped up the bracket because more people ended up seeing the film in question. I suspect a few more people may have caught Secretary in the intervening years as well. Or possibly, dare I hope, The Son.

Vadim said...

Way too late to talk about this, but I'm glad it placed at all. Somewhat embarrassingly, it's probably my favorite movie. I've seen it five times, and it just gets better. More later, maybe.

md'a said...

Way too late to talk about this, but I'm glad it placed at all. Somewhat embarrassingly, it's probably my favorite movie.

It might have placed significantly higher had you treated it like your favorite movie of all time, rather than giving it the same 10 pts. you allotted to everything else...

Jason said...

Mike (to Vadim): It might have placed significantly higher had you treated it like your favorite movie of all time, rather than giving it the same 10 pts. you allotted to everything else...

I fucked up in this regard too and I am really concerned now that my best film of the decade will not place on this list. I consider this a rookie mistake on my part and will work my voting differently from now on.

J said...

Theoretically you voted exactly how everybody should; selecting ten films from a period of ten years means you should end up with ten similarly awesome candidates, none of which is really worthy of receiving 20+ points at the expense of two other films only being allotted 5.

Matthew B. said...

J: But then, is the tenth-best film of the decade really "worthy" of getting ten points while the eleventh-best film gets nothing? Any poll like this inherently requires snubbing some brilliant work.

I can understand if some people enjoy their top ten candidates about equally, and vote accordingly. That's pretty much what I do myself in the annual "Best Scene" polling. But I don't react to the films themselves that way, and I have no problem giving the best film of the decade (i.e., this one) five times as many points as some other masterpiece like I'm Not There.

(I also gave 20+ points to a couple of the actors, though in the case of Bae Doona they'll doubtless be the only points she gets.)

msic said...

Matthew:

Which film, if I may ask?

Michael said...

(I should've been clearer. Which Bae Du-na film?

Matthew B. said...

Michael: Linda Linda Linda. The part's a tricky balancing act — painfully self-conscious, without being shy — but she doesn't set a foot wrong. And I'm a sucker for anyone who performs in a foreign language, especially one less ubiquitous than English.

Her Chaplin/Masina thing in Air Doll is pretty great too, though I hadn't seen that when I voted.

Robert Fuller said...

Excellent film, although I haven't seen it since it came out and I have very little memory of it. I mostly remember a lot of shots taken through windows.

md'a said...

(I also gave 20+ points to a couple of the actors, though in the case of Bae Doona they'll doubtless be the only points she gets.)

Bzzt. That performance finished in the top 30.

Matthew B. said...

Colour me pleasantly surprised. In the 2006 vote she only managed 50/3, including my 30. I gather more people have seen it since then.

Ryan said...

* Good job, Waz. Denzel's out. I think the other 7 are in.

* What I'm getting out of the discussion is that Yi Yi would've done better if not for a couple of weird voting hiccups. I imagine numbers 9 through 5 to be awfully close in points.

* Jason, do you know anyone else who voted for Kings and Queen? I don't think it smells the top ten even with your >20 and my < 10. It needs another 15 to get into the top 20.

* Mr. Chairman, this is your first miss RE: image file. By god, the Fox Lorber DVD cover is just about the ugliest YI YI poster art one can find. Isn't this one-sheet so much more appealing?

http://archive.sensesofcinema.com/images/14/yi_yi_poster_contents.jpg

Or change it to the Criterion cover. Please.

Matthew B. said...

By god, the Fox Lorber DVD cover is just about the ugliest YI YI poster art one can find. Isn't this one-sheet so much more appealing?

Seconded.

Ryan said...

Thanks bud.

wug said...

Answering Joker, I think YI YI suffers a great deal on the small screen unless you have a 42" tv. I've seen it 3 times on the big screen and it only got better with each viewing. By the way, here's my take on the film:

http://archive.sensesofcinema.com/contents/01/14/yi-yi.html