Ravishing, elegiac dream of a film from Tsai Ming-liang (Goodbye Dragon Inn, The Wayward Cloud), featuring parallel narratives and starring Lee Kang-sheng as a brutally beaten hobo and a man in a coma.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2007
"Working on a commission from the New Crowned Hope Festival in Vienna... and shooting in Malaysia for the first time, Tsai Ming-Liang strikes his usual balance between humour and horror but adds a surprising romantic warmth. His fetish actor Lee Kang-sheng plays two roles, one of whom (a man on life-support) may well be dreaming the other. Homeless on the streets of Kuala Lumpur, Hsiao Kang is robbed, beaten and left for dead; he is found and nursed by Rawang, an immigrant worker... Rawang's feelings for his patient may or may not be sexual, but there's definitely something like lust in the eyes of Chyi, a waitress in a run-down old coffee-shop, when they light upon the recovering Hsiao Kang. And so a triangle forms as a blanket of polluted air settles on the city and everyone has trouble breathing... Sometimes erotic, often funny, the film underpins Tsai's familiar deadpan allegory with what look suspiciously like hints of social realism." — Tony Rayns, Vancouver Film Festival