The tender missed connection of What Time Is It There? has another chance in Taipei: Hsiao-Kang, now working as an adult movie actor, meets Shiang-chyi once again. Meanwhile, the city faces a water shortage that makes the sales of watermelons skyrocket. Can a distant love conquer (or save) all?
This surprising provocation, full of romantic longing, is one of the best films of the 2000s, and from one of our best directors: Tsai Ming-liang, master of melancholy, of deadpan humor, of the long take, of urban spaces, smells and textures). An audacious and controversial classic.
Great. Now my wife thinks I watch porn. This is one of the boldest and self-assured movies I have seen in a while. But we skipped some movies, MUBI! How about 'The Skywalk Is Gone' and 'Good Bye, Dragon Inn'? Then we can watch 'I Don't Want to Sleep Alone'. OK?
The tragedy of love in a porn-saturated universe, a story of people who might connect as souls but have sexual roles to play, and most of all an explosion of ideas and genres (romance, sci-fi, musical). It isn't easy to take at times, particularly in a finale whose visceral disgust shouldn't overshadow what it has to say about male-female relations. But I left feeling I must have seen some odd kind of brilliance.
Funny, endearing, full of naive scenes between Hsiao-kang and Shiang-chyi that overshadowed by the critique of porn industry. Plus, never did a simple question like "Still selling watches?" leave me lamenting like this...
A little sip of melon juice from a glass, a cigarette perhaps not smoked, lovemaking interrupted and finally, consummation. Love and longing in a city short of water - and yet, water oozes from the strangest of places.