When a young street vendor with a grim home life meets a woman on her way to Paris, they forge an instant connection. He changes all the clocks in Taipei to French time; as he watches ... See full summary »
A strange disease starts to affect people in Taiwan just before the year 2000. The authorities order everyone to evacuate, but some tenants of an apartment building stay put, including a ... See full summary »
In Taiwan, Xiao-kang, a young man in his early 20s, lives with his parents in near silence. He is plagued by severe neck pain. His father is bedeviled by water first leaking into his ... See full summary »
The film focuses on three city folks who unknowingly share the same apartment: Mei, a real estate agent who uses it for her sexual affairs; Ah-jung, her current lover; and Hsiao-ang, who's ... See full summary »
Tsai Ming-liang returns with this latest entry in his Walker series, in which his monk acquires an unexpected acolyte in the form of Denis Lavant as he makes his way through the streets of a sun-dappled Marseille.
In 2007, Matthew Barney and Jonathan Bepler began a new collaborative project inspired by American author Norman Mailer's 1983 novel Ancient Evenings, set in pharaonic Egypt. The project ... See full summary »
Dave Bald Eagle,
John Buffalo Mailer
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
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 »
Do you know this theater is haunted?
This theater is haunted.
[calling out to departing man]
See more »
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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