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THURSDAY

In the first few scenes of Edward Yang’s latest Taipei story, a man gets married, his mother slips into a coma, his brother-in-law re-finds long-lost love, and his 8-year-old nephew begins to consider the meaning of life. Yi Yi, which won the Best Director prize at Cannes, has been hailed as Yang’s masterpiece, but it’s a refinement rather than a breakthrough. Like his previous films, Taipei Story and Mahjong, Yi Yi elegantly weaves a half-dozen stories, following the threads of everyday lives while musing on family ties and the purpose of art. The dialogue is mostly in Chinese, but what could be more universally communicative than a movie in which two Taipei teenagers argue about cinema in a bagel shop? “Movies are so lifelike. That’s why we love them,” says the boy, and the movie he’s in proves his point. Yi Yi screens at 8 p.m. at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden’s Ring Auditorium, 7th and Independence Avenue. SW. Free. (202) 357-2700. (Mark Jenkins)