Quaranfilms: 2 Movies to Indulge In!

I know that Quaranfilms doesn't really work, but neither does Quaranmovie, or Quarfilms, or Filmrantine, or Movirantine. So it's gonna be Quaranfilms for now. Here is a roundup of new films this week:

1. Yi Yi

My sister, Iris, forced my family to watch this film because she heard from “film critics” that it was one of the best movies of all time. Iris is also going through an artsy film phase, where she goes on Letterboxd and reads film reviews for obscure movies and then makes our family watch and critique them. I have to say though, she hit the nail on the head with this one. Yi Yi follows the lives of a Taiwanese family and their close relationships, which includes friends, neighbors, extended family, and ex-lovers. Although there are familiar themes of murder, attempted suicide, and unrequited love, this film is more than just a soap opera. The strength of Yi Yi lies in its ability to access the viewer’s fear of the circle of life and making the right decisions. It plays out characters’ what-ifs, paralleling thoughts that many of us contemplate at some point or another: What if I followed my passion? What if I married the wrong person? What if I let go of something too soon? Yi Yi has something for every viewer at every stage of life and is a must-see for one’s introspection into their own life.

2. Playtime

Jacque Tati’s Playtime is acclaimed for its use of architectural and on-screen space, as well as its achievement of comedic quality that lacks verbal elements. The film is inherently disinterested in the plot, which focuses on a man (played by Jacque Tati himself) who gets lost in a modern version of Paris, and a woman who also finds herself lost throughout the film. However, Tati uses extravagant and modernist spaces to weave the characters around the city, creating a dazzling spectacle of modern city life. It’s definitely a slow-paced movie, but one that you easily get lost in. Released in 1967, Playtime was not popular in the box office, and Tati actually went bankrupt because of it. However, it has always been raved by movie critics, and directors such as Wes Anderson take great influence from this film. Many of its elements can be seen in Grand Budapest Hotel. If you’re looking for a more abstract, avant-garde film, Playtime is definitely for you.

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