Tsai Ming-liang: master of long takes and watermelon sex

This ‘slow cinema’ legend has now abandoned all dialogue. As the UK Taiwan film festival kicks off, he talks about his latest work – about a man with neck pain who owns a fish

‘In my childhood, cinema was like going into a temple. Now, it’s more like going into a shopping mall,” says Tsai Ming-liang. Over the course of his nearly 30-year career, the Taiwanese film-maker’s work has moved further and further towards the “temple” end of the spectrum. Often bracketed under the “slow cinema” movement, he is a master of the very long take. His last feature, 2013’s Stray Dogs, included a shot of two people staring at a mural in an abandoned building that lasted over 14 minutes. But despite his shaven head, Tsai is no monk. In the past, his films have featured choreographed musical sequences, surreal comedy, and plenty of sex – gay, straight, solo, even watermelon-incorporating,
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