Monday, January 19, 2009

I DON'T WANT TO SLEEP ALONE (Ming-liang Tsai, 2006, Taiwan) Another fine film from the writer/director of GOODBYE DRAGON INN & THE WAYWARD CLOUD, the latter of which has never been released on region 1 DVD…shameful. This is a story of loneliness and the never-ending search for companionship in a dirty unfriendly world and how a compassionate act can lead to emotional salvation. I love the deep-focus static camera work as the characters move in and out of frame, sometimes in the foreground but often times deep in background. The director likes to shoot down deserted streets, bleak alleys, and long corridors, which give the illusion of tunnel vision…much like the characters emotional states. The editing is also unusual in that each scene lasts minutes as the camera lingers and allows us a voyeuristic insight into the their egocentric world. This is a film for people who are open to different cultures and their way of using film to tell their story, for those who are willing to break their Hollywood brainwashing and experience moving pictures as an art form. Haunting, sad, dirty, and beautiful. (A)

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