Wednesday, December 26, 2007

#4 Living director--Tsai Ming Liang

Tsai Ming Liang from Taiwan is another original that makes the kind of films you are either going to love or hate. It may take a few of his films before you decide that you are enjoying what you watch but once you do—you are hooked for life.

Tsai's films are slow, utilize very little dialogue, are notorious for extremely long takes where not much action occurs but zero in on all these elements that show up over and over in a Tsai film. His films are some of the most lovingly shot and crafted you will see on screen. His recent films such as What Time Is It There?, Goodbye Dragon Inn and The Wayward Cloud are like color photographs that sometimes move—so buried in their character’s stillness. I’ve waited eagerly for each new Tsai film for well over a decade and even though he’s an acquired taste, he’s easily in my top five favorite living directors.

I would start with the earliest Tsai films you can find (Rebels of the Neon God, Vive L’Amour, The Hole etc etc), as they all star his alter ego Kang Sheng Lee and it’s basically the same character in different phases of his life (sort of). If you start with the recent ones, you can follow the story of the characters but they will be out of order and there is a slight connection to each film (at least to fans of Tsai).

1 comment:

the hidden staircase said...

my top director!
i love too...that he uses the same actor/character. i think kang shang lee is the bravest actor out there!
especially in the most recent - i don't want to sleep alone...

beautiful films!