The elements of later Ming-Liang are all here, but so is a youthful energy that would later slip away in favor of more meditative minimalism. Joy is still a possibility, though fleeting as poverty ensnares it, slowly submerging everything like the water in the apartment. Capitalistic drudgery awaits to crush these characters, as explored in the director's next film Vive l'amour.
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.
it's like closely following the lives of three little ants in a massive ant colony, watching them struggle and suffer every moment, then realizing all these millions of ants you haven't been paying attention to are going through the same, and then realizing you're ant too