Tsai's hallucino-narcotic dream-trudge made for an accidentally ideal follow-up to The Quiet Earth. While that film's post-apocalyptic triangle was underwritten yet occasionally overwrought, this one's undergoes a mostly unspoken, frequently unconscious negotiation of the end of the world, in this case always already here, but subject to internal renewals and reversals.
Not my favorite Tsai, but a beautiful articulation of how much you can do with such simple elements: a setting (a decaying city that would make a Hollywood art director jealous), three characters (wordless expressions of loneliness), and a central symbol you return to over and over. A film about connections in our perpetual apocalypse, meandering at times but coming together—much like its characters.
Filed under "films that make you feel things." Tsai Ming-Liang's films have a quiet sorrow about them as his characters drift through the world alone but, in rare and beautiful moments, make intimate contact with others. This film is about friendship, touch, intimacy, longing, class and social divisions, love, connection and everything else that matters.
With this it become clear that Ming-Liang ranks among the masters of world and art house cinema. Hypnotic. Dream-like. Troubling. Even humorous. Beautifully composed and perfectly lit. Do any of the main characters even speak? There is no need. Their intents and desires are unmistakably clear. I want to dream this again.
Put me in the category of someone who appreciated the art and the mise en scene of the film but couldn't comprehend much in the way of meaning. The long takes and wide angle shots were master classes of form and of the entire frame telling the story. I just wish there was more story there to tell.
Mysterious, haunting, provocative, poetic... The story seems to be a background, it's emotions that play the main role here... Melancholy, loneliness, love... The dialogue is very minimal, it adds so much to the mood. If you enjoyed The Wayward Cloud, you will love this film too. Absolutely fantastic!
I feel like this is definitely not Tsai's most piercing film; it didn't speak to me on nearly the same emotional level as Vive l'amour. Nonetheless, there were some really good scenes: the ending, the grittiness of the city contrasted with the peppy pop music, the body rhythms of the people.
Falling asleep during MUBI movies is not a bad sign. Our brains have been trained for constant action for most of our years. This movie was particularly somnolent. I just watch it in parts. Watching these movies at night also helps one sleep. They are experiential, and so you have to train your brain to watch them.
Quiet, slow, strange, mesmerising. A flooded multi storey car park, a comatose man, an enormous moth, lives intersecting. Reminded me of squatting in Brixton back in the day for some reason. Possibly all that carrying flea ridden mattresses through the streets.
There are no more words to describe, succinctly, the qualities of this film than there are to describe the feeling of being in love, and if you told me the two were one and the same, I'm not sure I could argue. Things that elsewhere would be paradoxical - languid urgency, sublime devastation - here feel like they might be the only truths that matter. Simultaneously oneiric and visceral; lavish and gritty. 4.5