A film by Tsai Ming-liang can feel like a test. More specifically, a staring contest. How long can you look?
April 17, 2015
On Tsai Ming-liang
In a way, it is strangely appropriate that Tsai’s first film should have waited twenty-three years to appear in the United States. Tsai is a director obsessed with what the French call décalage, a kind of jet lag. The rhetoric of development used about East Asia—and elsewhere in the “developing” world—presumes a certain kind of linear, progressive time, or movement forward in time. Its voice insists that places like Taipei must catch up.
March 27, 2014
It started at the back door. Police asked the sitters to leave; if they refused, they grabbed them by their necks and dragged them out. Several TV reporters were on the scene but turned away. The footage that professional cameramen captured shows supporters, seated in the back rows, chanting. Before running at the protesters, the riot force took off their badges so that their names would be hidden.
March 10, 2014
The contemporary Communist Party has gotten adept at adapting western techniques to serve its own interests.
Haneke in furs
Haneke has often said, referring to the unhappy ending of The Piano Teacher, that he aims “to rape the spectator into autonomy.” He abuses his audience in order to make us self-aware and liberate us from bad habits. Critics have mostly taken him at his word, repeating the sleight of rhetoric that conflates the act of analyzing and violating movie conventions with bashing in the skull of an animal.
Another wrote, “I even contemplate suicide thinking that if I do it I will be rebirthed in a world similar to Pandora.”
December 18, 2008
Thousands pleaded on behalf of their teddy incarnate, writing letters and protesting in Berlin. Who can blame them?