This is probably the Tsai film I love the most :)
A elegiac valediction to the cinema and a meditation on desire...God, an exquisite almost Tatiesque sense of delicate visual comedy and an uncanny sense of exactly where to put his camera!
The tale of China and Taiwan told through a bun. The now disabled Mother China chasing the rebellious Taiwanese boy. The appearance of the Japanese guy is funny though.
We try to lay hands on what seems ours: the ticket-girl limps out of the theater, alone and alive, but cinema has its revenge by ending; meanwhile we are forced to live and produce something in some measure worth living for. This isn't a film, it's an elegy in image and instance/Of course this is a film; it's an elegy in image and instance.
ain't no party like a tsai ming-liang party, because a tsai ming-liang party leaves you shaking in a pool of your own tears, contemplating the emptiness of your existence
A real-time depiction of the last 90 minutes in the life of a run-down Taipei cinema house, evoking an overarching emptiness as it uses the image of film itself as a catalyst to accentuate a lonesome reality for its players. A rigid exercise in its static discourse, its lasting sense of detachment does limit the capacity for cathartic investment, if not for artistic and intellectual engagement, which the film does hold value in. A melancholy but stimulating introduction to Tsai.
Oddly enough I discovered this film while paging through the reviews of some doofus on Amazon, "most pretentious movie ever" caught my eye.
This was the first Tsai film I ever saw, by accident at a film festival. It remains the most magical experience I've ever had in a movie theater, even if today I don't even think the film is in his Top 5.
Life becomes eerily slow as the ghosts of a cinematic age wander through the walls of an old Thai cinema. "Nobody remembers us anymore".
There is something captivating about this movie. If you are prepared for it. I knew the first line of dialogue would come in around the 45 minute mark, so I prepared to just relax. Something calming about this film. My only complaint is that compared to some other, so called, contemplative cinema this one's premise was perhaps one I wasn't so much captivated by.
Seeing this film for me was a very odd experience, as it a lamentation and an elegy for the classic cinema-going experience. I, on the other hand, have had few of those experiences, seeing most of my films at home or in mostly empty little theatres. "Goodbye, Dragon Inn" did affect me, but I'm not sure if it was in the way Tsai meant to.
Now I know why Brilliante Mendoza's Serbis felt so redundant, Tsai made a much better film 5 years before it.
Not going to lie, I think this film is an indictment of the Taiwanese people, who Tsai spoke about in an interview when he mentioned that Taiwanese people don't want to see good movies; hence why very few people in the film are actually paying any attention to the film in front of them. Savvy