7.1/10
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28 user 65 critic

Goodbye, Dragon Inn (2003)

Bu san (original title)
On a dark, wet night a historic and regal Chinese cinema sees its final film. Together with a small handful of souls they bid "Goodbye, Dragon Inn."

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Hsiao-Kang
...
Ticket Woman
Kiyonobu Mitamura ...
Tien Miao ...
Chun Shih ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
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Peanut Eating Woman
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Storyline

A Japanese tourist takes refuge from a rainstorm inside a once-popular movie theater, a decrepit old barn of a cinema that is screening a martial arts classic, King Hu's 1966 "Dragon Inn." Even with the rain bucketing down outside, it doesn't pull much of an audience -- and some of those who have turned up are less interested in the movie than in the possibility of meeting a stranger in the dark. Written by Sujit R. Varma

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Genres:

Drama | Comedy

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Details

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Release Date:

12 December 2003 (Taiwan)  »

Also Known As:

Goodbye, Dragon Inn  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$5,322 (USA) (19 September 2004)

Gross:

$34,720 (USA) (3 April 2005)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente)

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The theater used for the film was actually on the brink of being closed, and shortly before the film was released it was indeed closed, in an strange example of life imitating art. See more »

Quotes

The man: Do you know this theater is haunted?
[pause]
The man: This theater is haunted.
[pause]
The man: Ghosts.
[walks away]
Japanese tourist: [calling out to departing man] I'm Japanese.
The man: Good bye.
Japanese tourist: Good bye.
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Connections

References Impostor (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Chong Feng
by Ge Lan
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User Reviews

 
You'd never mistake this for an action film
27 January 2005 | by (Columbia, South Carolina, USA) – See all my reviews

In over a half century of movie-going, I don't recall ever seeing a film like this. Whether you love it or hate it--I loved it--depends entirely on individual tastes. So I could fully understand someone rating it as either a 10 or a 1, or anywhere in between.

The films happenings, or lack thereof, have been adequately described by other reviewers, so I won't go into that here. This is a film in which very little happens, but at the same time everything happens. It is elegiac, and a spirit of sadness and melancholy pervade the film. Many reviewers have criticized the length of some of the takes. A handicapped young woman who appears to have a brace on her leg--we can't see it, but we can hear it--climbs a long flight of stairs with excruciating slowness. The camera watches her from a distance as she climbs every step, with a 'clunk' every time her foot lands on a step. It sounds boring but it's ingenious. How better to empathize with this woman, to realize with a shock what an excruciating grind her daily life must be, and how lonely she must be. Indeed, everyone in the film appears to be lonely, and each has mechanisms for staving it off. Going to the movies is one of them.

One much-discussed scene has the camera, apparently from the vantage point of the screen, look out at the completely empty theater for what is probably three or four minutes. Absolutely nothing happens. But this scene is the essence of the film. It seems to be saying, "look at the history here. Look at how many thousands of people have come here to watch the movies, how many were made happy, if only for a couple of hours. And now it will be gone." We know in our gut that the theater will probably be torn down and replaced with a soulless mall, or a parking lot.

I'm sure this film brought back memories for people of a certain age. I remember as a child in the 1950s going to theaters very much like this one, paying 9 cents for admission, buying some popcorn and soda, and watching westerns or films noirs. And now those theaters, like the one in this film, are long since gone. Does anyone remember Jean Luc Godard in the 1960s talking about "cinema language?" A film like this one exemplifies perfectly what he must have meant. 9/10


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