Defying by his parents, Hsiao Kang drops out of the local crammer to head for the bright lights of downtown Taipei. He falls in with Ah Tze, a pretty hood and their relationships is a confused mixture of hero-worship and rivalry that soon leads to trouble.
This film is not currently playing on MUBI but 30 other great films are. See what's now showing
Highly stylized, and we really do get a feeling of how shitty their lives are, but ultimately this one left me feeling pretty empty and I was glad when it ended. New digital restoration/USA theatrical release. 3.5 stars.
Early Tsai, with baby-faced Lee, short takes, & plenty of dialogue. But still Tsai. A handful of alienated youth in early 90s Taipei, crossing paths arbitrarily; the contrast of big city and small fate. No one escapes the desaturation, the sound design with no foreground, the seas of people & scooters, the rain; individualities washed together. Quiet disaffection. And Tsai's eye for the beauty of small rebellions.
confused, unhappy people wandering around early 90s taipei -- maybe i'm not an astute enough viewer, but i felt like the story developed rather spontaneously and strangely. two (four) ships passing in the night, but they're barely tied together. close, but misses the mark for me. some absolutely mesmerizing visuals, though -- average composition, but incredible locations that fit the story perfectly.
Watching this film felt like I was in a car with a stranger holding the steering wheel--driving to a destination that is unknown to him, but there's something interesting about the stranger that made me stay in the passenger seat; a certain kind of melancholy and exuberance.
The relationships in this were so soft, so inviting, even when things go wrong. I loved this film, uses some verite techniques which is cliche now, but Ming-Liang uses them to profound effect. Really, outstanding debut!