Retrospective

by Selina Lee Film Retrospective

Days | Tsai Ming-liang

June 18, 2020

Those familiar with Tawainese auteur Tsai Ming-liang will know what to expect from his latest feature, Days, which won the Teddy Award at the 2020 Berlinale. With his trademark slow-burn style, Tsai assembles 46 shots over 2 hours, eschewing script, storyboards, and other conventional filmmaking processes for a poignant quasi-romance with virtually no dialogue. The result is a film that at times borders on documentary, created from reels of footage that de-emphasize conventional acting for long, naturalistic scenes that favor observation and spontaneity.…

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by Paul Attard Film Retrospective

Light | Tsai Ming-liang

There’s a willful naivete many cinephiles employ when attempting to wax poetics about “the theater-going experience,” one that blatantly ignores sociopolitical and economic dimensions in favor of embracing the notion that because one has the financial means to A). reside in a city that…

June 18, 2020
by Lawrence Garcia Film Retrospective

Sand | Tsai Ming-liang

It has become increasingly evident that 2009 was a major turning point in Tsai Ming-liang’s artistic development: Madame Butterfly marked his first, decisive shift to digital, while Face, a commission of the Louvre Museum, inaugurated a significant turn towards gallery and installation work. In…

June 18, 2020
by Zachary Goldkind Film Retrospective

Your Face | Tsai Ming-liang

In considering the artistic decay posed within the persisting practice of archetypal expository documentary, Your Face represents a confrontation with history and convention, here mapped in the contours and minute expressions playing out across a variety of people. A selection of 12 faces interact…

June 18, 2020
by Evan Morgan Film Retrospective

Afternoon | Tsai Ming-liang

Tsai Ming-liang and Lee Kang-sheng have one of the strangest relationships in movies. For dedicated Tsai (and Lee) fans, that goes almost without saying. From the beginning, this director’s camera has reserved for this actor’s body its tenderest embraces, its lustiest looks, its cruelest…

June 18, 2020
by Sean Gilman Film Retrospective

Journey to the West | Tsai Ming-liang

The Journey to the West was perhaps the defining story of Chinese language film in the 2010s. Like stories of the Shaolin Temple or folk hero Wong Fei-hung in previous decades, it inspired myriad adaptations and interpretations, from filmmakers with wildly different styles and…

June 15, 2020
by Matt McCracken Film Retrospective

Stray Dogs | Tsai Ming-liang

Were one to walk the streets of Taipei, ride its elevated MRT lines, and pass by the imposing structure of the Taipei 101 and the malls that surround it, one would likely find — with just a modicum of effort — the rundown, low-level…

June 15, 2020
by Evan Morgan Film Retrospective

The Walker Shorts | Tsai Ming-liang

In 2013, around the time that Stray Dogs had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival, Tsai Ming-liang announced his retirement from filmmaking. In the seven years since, he’s shown himself to be a rather active retiree, signing his name to no fewer…

June 15, 2020
by Daniel Gorman Film Retrospective

Face | Tsai Ming-liang

 It’s perhaps presumptuous, a little reductive even, to speak of an artist’s filmography as movements or periods, particularly when they are still making new, vital work. Still, it’s useful to look at 2009’s Face as both a kind of grand summation of certain formal…

June 15, 2020
by Connor Murphy Film Retrospective

Madame Butterfly | Tsai Ming-liang

Considering the breadth and consistency of Tsai Ming-liang’s filmography, it’s initially hard to regard the short Madame Butterfly as much more than a curious aberration. The film is a particularly loose adaptation of Puccini’s famous opera, shot digitally and wholly devoid of the director’s…

June 15, 2020
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