Forest fires burn in Sumatra; a smoke covers Kuala Lumpur. Grifters beat an immigrant day laborer and leave him on the streets. Rawang, a young man, finds him, carries him home, cares for ... See full summary »
Forest fires burn in Sumatra; a smoke covers Kuala Lumpur. Grifters beat an immigrant day laborer and leave him on the streets. Rawang, a young man, finds him, carries him home, cares for him, and sleeps next to him. In a loft above lives a waitress. She sometimes provides care and attention. More violence seems a constant possibility. They find another man abandoned on the street, paralyzed. They carry him. While no one speaks to each other, sounds dominate: coughing, cooking, coupling, opening bags; music and news reports on a radio, the rattle and buzz of a restaurant. It's dark in the city at night. We see down hallways, through doors, down alleys. Who sleeps with whom? Written by
I am always a little surprised to see negative reviews of Tsai Ming-Liang films in web communities populated by film enthusiasts. And that's not because I'm about to argue that all film enthusiasts should like Tsai Ming-Liang movies, far from it. Rather, what surprises me is that film enthusiasts -- people motivated enough to have IMDb logins and, further, motivated enough to write reviews -- would be unfamiliar enough with Tsai Ming-Liang and his work, prior to viewing any particular film, that they could end up being surprised by what they get. Like all of Liang's films, this is a very, very, VERY quiet movie. That's the whole point: long takes, minimal dialog, you get out of it what you're prepared to concentrate hard enough on to see the subtlety of. I own all of his films and I watch them again and again -- and that doesn't make me a better person than the other reviewer, either. He's an acquired taste and if you don't like quiet, light-brush-stroke movies you won't like this guy's stuff. But I can't imagine anyone not knowing all of that before they start, and then complaining about it afterward.
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