african-american directors series: is that black enough for you ?!? (elvis mitchell, 2022)
music friday: 1989

goodbye, dragon inn (tsai ming-liang, 2003)

You've heard the saying: "well, that's 82 minutes of my life I'll never get back". After watching Goodbye, Dragon Inn, I thought, "well, that's 182 minutes out of my life I'll never get back". Except Goodbye, Dragon Inn is only 82 minutes long. But it was so excruciating, I felt like I'd lost three hours of my life. #284 on the They Shoot Pictures, Don't They list of the top 1000 films of all time, #16 on the list of the top 1000 films of the 21st century. Perhaps the weirdest example of how unconnected I was to this movie: apparently some people think it's a comedy. My favorite bit of trivia about the film: director Tsai Ming-liang has twice voted for it on the director's poll for the Sight and Sound 10 greatest films of all time list.



Yeah, my interest in Tsai's films trailed off after The Hole (quite good, I thought, and which some critics revisited in the Covid era). There's slow cinema, and then there's glacial. Have you seen any of his Walker films? Yikes.

That said, Vive l'amour is one of the great films of the 90s. Almost no dialogue, which makes sense, as it's about people being utterly unable to communicate with each other--established as a societal malady. I showed it in class when I was teaching in Texas, and in the course evaluation somebody said I was showing pornography.

Steven Rubio

Slow cinema porn sounds almost intriguing! This was my first Tsai film.


Vive l'amour moves like a Jackie Chan film compared to Tsai's later work. I do recommend it.

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