While never-ending rain and a strange disease spread by cockroaches ravage Taiwan, a plumber makes a hole between two apartments and the inhabitants of each form a unique connection, enacted in musical numbers.
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.
Defying his parents, Hsiao Kang drops out of the local crammer to head for the bright lights of downtown Taipei. He falls in with Ah Tze, a pretty hood and their relationships is a confused mixture of hero-worship and rivalry that soon leads to trouble.Written by
L.H. Wong <email@example.com>
In his first film, international "arty" director Tsai Ming-liang tells what is apparently, for him, a fairly accessible tale about two fake thugs, the sometimes-girlfriend of one of them, and a younger teenager who has a strange preoccupation with the three of them. He does so largely with long, one-take, unmoving shots (when the action moves into the background, the camera usually doesn't follow). It's not always easy to understand the relationship between these various characters, which is just as well, as it is pretty languid and obscure in general; teasing out the nuances of these relationships was my main source of interest while watching this film. Overall, it seems to be worth a try, but not worth a recommendation. I got a generally positive impression from it (meaning that it didn't just totally irritate me), but it didn't provoke a strong visceral aesthetic appreciation (that's a little paradoxical I guess) that I get from my favorite "art films." I'm tempted to watch one of Tsai's later, "better-known" (relatively speaking) films, but I'm not sure that I'm that enamored with his visual style or his style of storytelling (as opposed to, say, that of Wong Kar-Wai).
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