IN THE CINÉMA CLUB OF…
From his Taiwanese New Wave classic debut Rebels of the Neon God (1992) to Berlinale-selection Days (2020), Malaysia-born auteur Tsai Ming-Liang has created a richly emotional artistic universe, his distinctive “slow cinema” style punctuated by musical numbers and absurdist humor.
Grasshopper Films will release Days in the U.S. in 2021, and Metrograph Pictures is now exclusively screening a new restoration of Tsai’s gorgeous 2003 ode to the theatrical experience Goodbye, Dragon Inn (“The best film of the last 125 years.” – Apichatpong Weerasethakul), on which occasion the director has shared with us a list of five films he loves.
BEAUTY RAISED FROM THE DEAD, Lee Sun-Fung, 1956
In recent years, I watched a large number of black and white Hong Kong movies from before I was born (I was born in 1957), particularly those produced by Union Film Enterprise. Many of them were family dramas, social dramas or adaptations of folk legends. Beauty Raised from the Dead, a horror film adapted from the classical Chinese opera, Peony Pavilion, left the deepest impression on me. I feel that the Cantonese movies from this period, whether in terms of screenplay, directing or acting, were very outstanding. That period was the pinnacle of Hong Kong cinema both in terms of quantity and quality.
CHIMES AT MIDNIGHT, Orson Welles, 1965
I bought the DVD for Chimes at Midnight at one of the last remaining video stores in Taipei. It’s a film by Orson Welles that I’ve been wanting to see for a long time. The directing, cinematography and even the performance of Orson Welles himself were astonishing.
UNCLE BOONMEE WHO CAN RECALL HIS PAST LIVES, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2010
I watched this film again for the intercourse scene between human and fish. Apichatpong took a cow and a rather unremarkable ghost and weaved a tale of melancholy and poetry, set in the night of a tropical forest.
RECORD OF A TENEMENT GENTLEMAN, Yasujiro Ozu, 1947
This is a comedy film that Ozu Yasujiro made after the war, that depicts the life of children in the lower rungs of society. The children in Ozu’s films are always angelic, bringing smiles and hope to an otherwise difficult and unbearable life.
LIMELIGHT, Charles Chaplin, 1952
I have used a piece of music composed by Charles Chaplin twice in my films. The first time was in I Don’t Want to Sleep Alone in 2006 and the second was in my latest film, Days . That piece of music is called “Eternally”, and it came from his talking picture, Limelight .