Goodbye, Dragon Inn Bu san Ming-liang Tsai 2003 TaiwanOn a rainy night, a few individuals seek comfort in a cinema.The first of only two dialogue exchanges here, beyond those in the film that's being screened in the titular theatre, occur about halfway through and concern the building being haunted with ghosts; even before that (and especially after it), Tsai's imagery (empty corridors, a forgotten theatre) and sound design (the creak of a chair, the rain outside) suggest a heightened loneliness in a fascinating space, largely neglected but for the laborious, almost defiant routine work carried out by its lame attendant. Naturalistic in aesthetic and romantic in subject matter, it also happens to be very funny, in the way its director holds the camera on - for instance - the various men who enter the gents' toilets and choose neighbouring urinals, desperate for some human contact.
This film even more than Tsai's other films leaves you with the feeling that you've actually lived it, that you were actually there. I feel like i can still even smell that theatre it was so involving. I feel like i know the place.
I saw this probably 6 or 7 years ago on the big screen and vividly remember the scene where the frame is focused on the empty theatre seats for what 3-5 minutes? A meditation on the death of the community that cinema used to give people. It was quite hilarious, but also quite sad watching the amount of people that walked out of the cinema during that scene, i reckon two thirds of the audience left. They just really didn't get it at all.
Why come to a film festival claiming you want to see something different when you really can't embrace anything different because what you actually want is to see something you feel is non-mainstream (such as the foreign type films that usually end up on general release) that still meets your expectations in such a way that its really just an extension of the mainstream...??
What did you find boring about it Srini? (btw the way i may be a little behind here or just not paying attention, but you remind me of svsg....are you him?) or more to the point, what else could've been in the film for you to not find it boring, but for Tsai to still create the kind of space and atmosphere he was looking for?