Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Goodbye, Dragon Inn

When a director like Ming-liang Tsai produces a personal ode to the bygone days of theatergoing, you know you're in for a long, slow ride -- and Goodbye, Dragon Inn does not disappoint.

It's hard to describe this film as bad: it is beautifully shot, well-acted, and exudes quality craftsmanship. At the same time, it is pretentious garbage: nothing happens, there is no real story, it is entirely a mood piece. The first line of dialog is about 45 minutes into the film, and the end features an overlong (roughly 10 minutes) shot of the empty movie theater. The film is hard to love, and hard to hate.

The DVD, however, has a nice extra: The Skywalk Is Gone, which serves to link What Time Is It There and The Wayward Cloud (including the audition of Hsiao-kang for his first porn film).

* * * R A T I N G * * *

Bu San (IMDB)

Wince : [*____]
Flinch : [_____]
Retch : [*____]
Gape : [**___]

Beerequisite : [**___]
Pornability : [_____]
Obscurity : [***__]
Explicability : [*____]

Best running gag: The unlit cigarette.

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