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8.2
/10
1,599 Ratings

What Time Is it There?

Ni na bian ji dian

Directed by Tsai Ming-liang
Taiwan, France, 2001
Drama, Romance

Synopsis

Hsiao-Kang sells watches in the streets of Taipei for a living. A few days after his father’s death, he meets a young woman, Shiang-Chyi, who as it turns out leaves for Paris the very next day. He runs around setting all the watches and clocks in Taipei to Paris time.

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What Time Is it There? Directed by Tsai Ming-liang
Where Denis’s cinema is tactile, cutaneous, and given to the exploration of bodies, Tsai’s is very much concerned with the absence of touch, the space between bodies—perhaps most poignantly expressed in his What Time is it There? (2002), a film of longing across national boundaries and time zones, as well as clockwork-precision sight gags.
April 08, 2015
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…Over time, in the company of only oneself, moments of contact swell with meaning, memories carrying into the future a deepened feeling for what’s past. Rather than receding, the hunger to recall what’s passed imbues meaning in everything, animating the inanimate, impregnating empty space, and bending time.
December 10, 2004
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This ending is curiously satisfying, and it certainly encourages the viewer to look back over the film with changed eyes. But it doesn’t entirely mitigate the sense that Tsai may be ploughing the same furrow once too often… The performances, visual style, pacing and structure here are all very much like The River and The Hole. So similar, in fact, that it becomes slightly too easy to enumerate the characteristics of a Tsai Ming-Liang movie.
June 14, 2002
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