The most-talked about film at this year’s Berlin Film Festival. Festival regular Tsai Ming-liang delivers a film that fluctuates wildly between broad camp tomfoolery and a desolate view of pornography.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2005
The most-talked about film at the Berlin Film Festival this year was the latest from festival regular Tsai Ming-liang (Goodbye Dragon Inn). Tsai’s deadpan studies of alienated souls adrift in a usually sodden Taipei have always worked a delicate territory between existential pathos and absurd comedy. With The Wayward Cloud Tsai jettisons the delicacy to deliver a film that fluctuates wildly between broad camp tomfoolery and an even more desolate view of pornography than you’ll find in Lukas Moodyson’s Hole in the Heart. Playing characters they’ve played for Tsai before, Lee Kang-sheng is now a porn star, hard at work in the apartment above his old friend and new love Chen Shiang-chyi, who remains unaware of his new profession until the film’s gruesome conclusion. Touching scenes of their mutual apprehension are intercut with scenes of Lee engaged in bizarre acts with watermelons and out-of-it women, not to mention lewd dance numbers lip-synched to vintage Chinese torch songs. — BG
“An in-your-face mixture of brilliance and false notes.” — Tony Rayns, Sight & Sound