A Taiwanese filmmaker makes a film based on the myth of Salomé at the Louvre. Even though he speaks neither French nor English, he insists on giving the part of King Herod to the French actor Jean-Pierre Léaud. To give the film a chance at the box-office, the production company gives the role of Salomé to a world famous model. But problems arise as soon as filming begins…
Amidst all this confusion, the director suddenly learns of his mother’s death.
The producer flies to Taipei, to attend the funeral. The director falls into a deep sleep where his mother’s spirit does not seem to want to leave her old apartment. The producer has no choice but to wait, alone and lost in a strange city.
As after a very long voyage, filming will resume with all who were lost in the underground of the Louvre. —Cannes Film Festival
Along with Edward Yang and Hou Hsiao-hsien, Tsai Ming-liang became one of Taiwan’s most prominent directors during the 1990s. His films regularly appeared in festivals around the globe and he received lavish praise from film critics worldwide. Born in Malaysia in 1957, Tsai moved to Taiwan and graduated from the Chinese Cultural University in 1982. For the next ten years, he worked in theater and writing screenplays for films and television. He directed his first feature in 1992, Rebels of the Neon God, which, with its tough but tender depictions of disaffected youth, earned him comparisons to Rainer Werner Fassbinder. In addition to Fassbinder, Tsai was also influenced by François Truffaut, to whom he was exposed as a student. His style differed from his idol Truffaut’s, however, like his countrymen Yang and Hou, Tsai preferred long takes, few close-ups, and sparse dialogue. And like another of his influences, Michelangelo Antonioni, he displayed a genius for placing the camera at… read more
Tsai is always hit or miss with me. This time it was a miss. But regardless of whether he hits or misses, I always respect his work as an artist - and as an auteur for that matter.
Surely, this is Tsai's masterpiece: two hours of the most beautiful images I've seen in years, and the hidden emotions that make his work so memorable. Can't wait to see where he goes from here!
"Who shot Andy Warhol?" asks Pop!, a self-described "happening whodunit musical" at the Yale Repertory Theatre through December 19. Well
François Truffaut: A Winter Portrait, running Tuesdays through December 22 at the French Institute Alliance Française in New York, showcases
Tsai Ming-liang’s movies, critics noted more and more in his last few films, are founded from parallel universes, banal reality and another