Ming-liang Tsai

Ming-liang Tsai – Tian bian yi duo yun AKA The Wayward Cloud [+Extras] (2005)

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Hsiao-Kang, now working as a pornographic actor, meets Shiang-chyi once again. Meanwhile, the city of Taipei faces a water shortage that makes the sales of watermelons skyrocket. Read More »

Ming-liang Tsai – He liu AKA The River (1997)

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An unemployed young man named Hsiao-Kang (Lee Kang-sheng) passes idle time at a local Taipei mall when he encounters an old friend (Chen Shiang-chyi) on the opposite escalator. With time on his hands, he agrees to accompany her back to the location shoot where she is working as a production assistant for a film. At the site, the director is displeased with the unrealistic appearance of a mannequin intended to represent a dead body floating on the river, and asks the aimless Hsiao-Kang to act as a stand-in for the shot. Read More »

Ming-liang Tsai – Hai Jiao Tian Ya AKA All the Corners of the World (1989)

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All the Corners of the World sees the family unit as a disaster waiting to happen. Mr and Mrs Chang live in Taipei’s Hsi-Men-Ding (the city’s entertainment/red light/nightlife district) with their teenaged kids. The parents work as cleaners in a “love hotel” and send the kids out to work as ticket scalpers, block-buying seats for hit movies like A City of Sadness and reselling them at a profit. Tragedy strikes when the daughter Mei-Hsueh flirts with the idea of prostituting herself and changes her mind at the last moment, leaving her first client with injuries that put him on the critical list. The focus throughout is on the son Ah Tong, who has a latent talent as a writer that is never going to flower. Read More »

Ming-liang Tsai – Ni de lian AKA Your Face (2018)

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Radically rethinking the tired talking-heads template, Tsai Ming-liang’s latest digital experiment turns the human face into a subject of dramatic intrigue. Comprised of a series of portrait shots of mostly anonymous individuals (Tsai devotees will no doubt recognize his long-time muse, Lee Kang-sheng), the film shrewdly deemphasizes language while reducing context to a bare minimum. In their place, the beauty and imperfections of each face take center stage. Accompanied by Ryuichi Sakamoto’s soundtrack of dynamically modulating drone frequencies, Tsai’s subjects variously speak, stare, and, at one point, sleep as the camera quietly registers the weight of personal history and accumulated experience writ beautifully across every last pore and crevasse.
—NYFF Read More »

Ming-liang Tsai – Dong AKA The Hole (1998)

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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 shop owner who lives by himself. One day, a plumber goes to the shop owner’s apartment to check the pipes. The plumber drills a small hole in the floor, which comes down through the ceiling of another apartment. The hole never gets repaired, and this leads to some tension between the shop owner and the woman who lives below him. Read More »

Ming-liang Tsai – Visage AKA Face (2009)

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Hsiao-Kang, a Taiwanese film director, travels to the Louvre in Paris, France, to shoot a film that explores the Salomé myth. Read More »

Ming-liang Tsai – Qing shao nian nuo zha AKA Rebels of the Neon God (1992)

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On a raining evening at a nondescript telephone booth in Taipei, two petty criminals, Ah-tze (Chen Chao-jung) and his friend Ah-ping (Jen Chang-bin) drill through the lock of the public telephone and steal the contents of the collection box. In another part of the city, an unmotivated and distracted student named Hsiao-Kang (Lee Kang-sheng) encounters a cockroach in his room, stabs the insect with the point of his compass, and tosses its dead carcass into the turbulent wind, only to find the seemingly tenacious vermin resurface on the other side of his window. In a quintessential, understatedly amusing scene, Hsiao-Kang unsuccessfully attempts to swat the insect, crashes his palm through the window, and calmly walks into the bathroom to dress his injured hand, amidst the perplexed and inquisitive gaze of his father (Tien Miao) and mother (Lu Hsiao-Ling). Read More »