Tsai loves filming Taiwanese men in tighty whites and that’s a fact. But he also likes random musical numbers and sad lonely people. Plot is about an apocalyptic Taiwan where two stubborn people refuse to leave their home and their only connection is to one another through a hole in their roof/floor. But i’m mostly here for the elevator musical numbers.
Musical numbers used as moments of brief escapism in a world that seems to be on its last legs. The hole itself struck me as a means of breaking through the intractable structures that are dictated by doors/bells/walls. The couple never knock on each other's doors (they barely speak), but through an accidental hole, they can maybe transcend their sorry fate.
A very intuitive cinema emerges when Ming-Liang reaches a creative process that won't stop overflowing daily scenes with apocaliptic gray places. Leaning upon images instead of a propper plot, he develops the mood his storytelling requires: mundane, decadent, lost within its own faith - but grasping for hope in the form of music dream and poetic escapes
A weirdly hilarious melange of Mauvais sang and Shivers, blended with a very political premise. In these sort of apartment apocalypse movies, the characters tend to band together and making a mess of things (see e.g. High-Rise, Fireworks Wednesday); it's refreshing to see the characters here live out the resulting problems alone, for it makes the conclusion all the sweeter.
One of TML's more comedic approaches on his running motifs of loneliness, seclusion, depravity, etc. I can't take you seriously if you don't appreciate or at least acknowledge this man's genius. What is the extent of your film knowledge? How do you qualify your 'taste'? Hate to be a snob but subjectivism only goes so far when a body of work is objectively considered great film making. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
(35mm, but it looks like it a 16mm: can anyone verify?) I was a bit disillusioned with the film, that has a somewhat lazy narrative — I wonder if the 69 minutes long TV cut (for Arte) is not a more cohesive one. Despite the unevenness of the film, the songs are irresistible and a genuine stun, and the hole rests toujours a mistery.
Саме так як я інколи зачаровано спостерігаю за рухом води, не помічаючи плину часу, я дивлюся фільми Цай Мінляна, розмірені, неквапливі, небагатослівні, лаконічні, але разом з тим дуже красномовні та об'ємисті. Сцена, в якій він піднімає її через дірку в стелі - неймовірно сильна за змістовністю та красою кадру.