Probably one of the most sincere and peculiar homages ever paid to movie theaters. Ming-liang displays here his usual imagery while showing his most personal side. "Good Bye, Dragon Inn" is an accessible and comprehensive film that will enthrall everyone looking for contemplative cinema.
At this point all that had seemed interesting in early Tsai has petrified to the point of this utterly lifeless and vacant so-called homage to cinema's glorious past aimed squarely at the Art Film crowd, for whom no number of shots of people shuffling down aisles is enough of an endurance test.
Tsai shows us how a carefully constructed depiction of the dreary last night at a dilapidated theater can comprise a compelling film, even without the trappings of lavish dialogue, special effects, car chases, or narrative tricks. Cinephiles acknowledge that, at its best, the cinematic experience is profound, mesmeric, and transformative; the theater is our temple to that mystical power. This is a fitting tribute.
My introduction to Tsai. It's a testament to the film's power that I was entirely captivated despite being quite sleepy before starting it. It is at once a hypnotic ghost story, a poignant elegy for the cinema, and a quiet reflection on the filmgoing experience. Also notable: Tsai's spatial awareness and impeccable lighting.
Just like the awkwardly lengthy urinal stays, the teary spectator unwilling to leave his seat, the ghostly strangers' cigarettes burning out, and the static, unmoving shot that has been deserted by its subject, the film moves painfully, slowly- like the limping ticket taker- to its dreaded farewell.