A circuitous and depressing film by the Taiwanese master Hou Hsiao-hsien, Millennium Mambo takes place in 2001, but, as the exhausted-sounding female narrator tells us, the events in the film happened “ten years ago”, giving a sheen of nostalgia and loss to the proceedings that is hard to pinpoint. Mark Li Ping-bin shot the film, and its visuals are the most striking thing about it. The story is barely there, really, the story is not the point. It’s about a mood, a time, a vibe, a Taipei vibe.
December 17, 2014