Goodbye, Dragon Inn (Lightning Review: Film)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Workers and watchers wander, ghostly, 'round a dilapidated cinema, crowding each other in tight hallways, pressing close in the empty theatre, always choosing the adjacent urinal in depressing bathrooms.  The first words are spoken more than halfway through the film, when one character tells another that the theatre is haunted.  But it turns out that the other man doesn't understand him - he's a Japanese tourist who has come to the theatre in search of {awkward cough} connection.  A film about nostalgia and haunting and the inability to let go.  Nothing wrong with it, but I found it all too easy to let go: I don't have sufficient meditative capacity for these long-developing shots that don't, in the end, develop into much beyond silence and endless waiting.  The fact that that's the point didn't, for me, make it an interesting point.

Goodbye, Dragon Inn
Dir. Ming-liang Tsai
(Taiwan, 2003)
Watched Jan 14.