Sometimes, after a break-up, it's as if the other party has dropped into a crack of the world. One morning, there might be a paper bag clothes and books on the doorstep. Maybe over the following months, one hears a few rumors from mutual friends. Finally, complete silence. Despite what they tell you, not everyone can be cyberstalked. High school science classes teach us that energy can neither be created nor destroyed, but what happens to all the energy you spent loving someone? All you can hope for, ten or twenty years down the line, is an exit interview: a chance meeting at a time when both of you are past fury and despair, to encounter one another in some neutral spot, to remember and forgive.
Edward Yang's 2000 masterpiece Yi Yi is newly available on Criterion Collection, befitting its status as one of Sight and Sound's best films of the last 25 years. The array of characters makes it a toss-up who the real center of the film, but maybe Yi Yi is most accessible in its middle sequence, the episode of two lovers meeting for the first time in 30 years. She, Sherry (Su-Yun Ko) lives in Chicago; her Chinese-American husband works and travels for work all the time. He (Nien-Jen Wu) is married, two kids, and lives inTaipei. He's a mid-level executive at an unscrupulous and in-trouble video-game company. The two have united for a weekend in Tokyo and are at last ready to discuss the reason why he stood her up three decades before.