Stationary behaviors of the audiences and dynamic images on the screen work to distinguish between the real and artificial..The cinemas I went to after escaping from school closed in a time as the extinction of the dinosaurs.Now cinema means shopping mall , expensive tickets , expensive pop corns and coca cola.I have not been to cinema for a long time, ..this was the best tsai.
honestly i cant really remember what the film is about - save the part about a dying empty cinema and an actor watching his own act in a film he starred in. but what i remember was learning to appreciate how silence and the lack of action in a film can be productive - as counter-intuitive as it sounds. and that they can even say more than those moments filled with action and lights and sounds and noises.
i saw this in 35mm and honestly tsai is as good as cinema gets. tho this film was a test in patience, once i let myself get settled in it, i became mesmerized by its languid pace. tsai's films have a language all of his own. extremely minimalist yet hypnotic, hilarious, and soul-crushing all at once
Tsai imagines the cinema as a place where we bridge the space between us, which explains why this film defies conventional etiquette and has film-goers sit as close as possible in nearly abandoned space. But it's hard to find connection in a ghost town, and instead we might find the most exaggerated forms of ourselves (like peeing for 5 mins), which is of course what cinema also offers.
A film that has the effect of being not an elegy itself but already its memory, and one more poignant for coming to us in such immersive vividness, like its subject was something we cherished so profoundly - and long for so deeply - that the memory of its elegy was ingrained into our being. This is almost meta Tsai. Desperately beautiful cinema.
this film strikes an emotional note of longing & somehow holds it for the duration - makes each mundane movement & motive ache with the monumental - cinema is rarely this present, this empathic, this compassionate, this tender, this ineffable - cinema as an act of love - the movie theatre as hall of our eternal yearning for connection
"no one goes to the movies anymore" - one character remarks. Although often regarded as a homage to Dragon Inn, GDI is more about the characters who haunt the theater. The contrast btw the towering images of Dragon Inn and the grim aspects of the characters' lives keeps the film formful. It's time for old Dragon to go but not into oblivion. In the end, a character limps away in the rain like a lonesome hero.