Sunday, June 03, 2007


March 23, 2007 - When I hear Chinese people say they can't stand filmmaker Tsai Ming-Liang, I . . . have nothing to say. I kind of understand them, he does tend to try the common audience's patience. Like this lomo I took in the theater of his latest release, translated "I Don't Want To Sleep Alone" (which is not a translation of the actual title). This is a long exposure. You can see two subtitled lines and Tsai Ming-Liang films are dialogue sparse, and there are two main characters sitting at a table and they barely move for the duration of the exposure. That's a Tsai Ming-Liang film.

He's not a director that pops up prominently on my radar. In fact, after seeing this film and looking him up, I was surprised to find that I had seen two of his previous films at film festivals in San Francisco. The first film I saw of his was "The Hole", which was totally weird but I quite liked. I think that was the film that made me proclaim that Taiwanese directors are "masters of the long shot", and along with Hou Hsiao-Hsien and Edward Yang, I think that's hard to refute.

The other film I've seen is "What Time Is It There?" and I didn't quite understand that film (you mean you understand any of his films?!).

I really liked "I Don't Want To Sleep Alone". I don't think I'd be way off in describing his films as meditations. You have to go into his films with a calm and quiet mind. An open mind also helps. And sometimes a strong cup of coffee.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Cello Suite No. 6, III. Courante (J.S. Bach)
2. The Employment Pages (Death Cab for Cutie)
3. Don't Walk Away (Electric Light Orchestra)
4. Haru No Katami (Hajime Chitose)
5. Dear Prudence (Siouxsie & the Banshees)
6. No Parachutes (Throwing Muses)
7. Seize (Skip Holiday)
8. Is She Really Going Out With Him? (Joe Jackson)
9. Day Dream (Smashing Pumpkins)
10. Hoshi no Love Letter (The Boom)

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