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Monday, May 07, 2007

Sleeping Alone with Tsai Ming-Liang

A Film Retrospective

Your bed is ready, Mr Tsai!

Malaysia-born Taiwanese director Tsai Ming-Liang's movies have been celebrated around the world – from Cannes to Chicago to Istanbul – but not Malaysia. On May 17, however, his latest film "I Don't Want to Sleep Alone", which was shot in Kuala Lumpur last year, will open at The Picture House, Cathay Cineleisure, Damansara. Yes, finally!

To celebrate this homecoming, The Annexe, Central Market will showcase a retrospective of his previous films, plus a few shorts, from Thu May 10 – Sun 13 (8pm every night). Tsai Ming-Liang himself will drop by on Fri May 11 to chat with audiences. Please note: we are not screening "I Don't Want to Sleep Alone" -- you have to go to The Picture House for that. But for all his previous films, come here!


Thu 10 May

Fri 11 May
THE RIVER + Chat with Tsai Ming-Liang
(moderated by film critic Benjamin McKay)

Sat 12 May

Sun 13 May
[To be confirmed]

English subtitles available.

Date: Thu May 10 – Sun 13
Time: 8pm
Venue: The Gallery, The Annexe, Central Market

Entry by Donation: RM8 (adults) , RM6 (students and senior citizens)
Enquiries: 03 2031 0399 / 5399 / 7399 / 9399


Vive L'amour (1994)
Three characters share a space unknowingly: 1. A real estate agent trying to sell her apartment, 2. The man she brings there for a sexual encounter, 3. A suicidal man who has stolen the apartment keys, and subsequently develops an attraction to the second man. (118 min)

Stinky Kid (Telemovie)
A kid is inflicted with a rare disease and his medication causes him to emit ammonia. As a result, he has no friends. Based on a true story.

The River (1997)
After playing a corpse in a film, Xiao Kang develops a mysterious neck ache which becomes suicide-inducing in spite of treatments recommended by his incestuous mother and gay father. (115 min)

The Hole (1998)
A man who lives above a woman in a crumbling building find themselves connected by a hole in the floor separating them, a serious leakage problem and a plague that has killed most of Taiwan. (95 min)

What Time Is It There? (2001)
A girl buys a watch that shows two different times from a street vendor. She wants to be able to see Taipei time while she is in Paris. The street vendor takes to watching classic French film The 400 Blows, and starts resetting all the clocks in the city to Paris time. His mother, grieving for his late father, sees the adjusted clocks as a sign of her late husband coming back. In Paris, the girl encounters the aging star of The 400 Blows. (116 min)

Director's Biography

"Even today," says Tsai, "I feel I belong neither to Taiwan nor to Malaysia. In a sense, I can go anywhere I want and fit in, but I never feel that sense of belonging."

Though born in Kuching in the year of Malaysia's independence, Tsai Ming-Liang is better known these days as a Taiwanese filmmaker. Having left his Kuching kampong after 20 years, he eventually graduated from the Drama and Cinema department of the Chinese Cultural University of Taiwan. First appearing around the early 90s with critically acclaimed films like Rebels of the Neon God and Vive L'Amour, his films have since gone on to win many awards at major international film festivals. In 2002, he received the distinguished medal of the Knight of Order of Arts and Letters from the French government, and in the following year, he was voted by UK paper The Guardian as #18 of the 40 best directors in the world.

Tsai Ming-Liang's films are famous for their static long takes and voyeuristic gaze on emotionally numbed urban individuals. Mostly set in Taipei, his film uses the city's dysfunction to force his characters into desperate, transient connections. These connections, however wordless, absurd or perverse, never fail to achieve devastating empathy with audiences around the world.

Last year, Tsai Ming-Liang made good a promise when he finally set a film in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Shot mainly in an abandoned building he discovered in Pudu, the film captured the way illegal immigrants and locals care for and lust for each other. In the film, the city is also invaded by a haze "that is so humid it stinks of the perspiration of its multi-ethnic people. These men and women and the old mattress lose their way in the haze but find one another…"

"I Don't Want To Sleep Alone" opens May 17 at The Picture House, Cathay Cineleisure, Damansara. For more information, visit: http://myhomegreen.blogspot.com.

This Tsai Ming-Liang Retrospective is brought to you by The Annexe, Homegreen Films and Kelab Seni Filem Malaysia.


At 1:44 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very interesting


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