I’m not sure if Goodbye, Dragon Inn is a juvenile “arty” film with nothing to say, or a sublime meditation on the impossibility of communicating other than through shred cinematic experiences.
Goodbye, Dragon Inn is the last feature at an old and dilapidated Taipei cinema that is about to close. The martial arts classic Dragon Inn is the final feature. Throughout the film (that is, Goodbye, Dragon Inn), the ticket woman tries to find the projectionist to give a steamed bun, yet they never meet. A young hustler wanders around the cinema in search of a homosexual encounter. Actors from the original Dragon Inn meet each other in the lobby. The film has almost no dialogue. (in fact, watching the film with subtitles is superfluous.) The first lines are not spoke until about half way through the film.
But is this beauty or is it excess? The characters seem to be searching for meaning. The only ones who find it seem to be the actors from the original film. This idea is worth exploring, but its counter balanced by some strange choices. For example, ten minutes from the end Tsai Ming-liang puts in a shot of an empty movie theater that lasts for about 10 minutes. Huh?