The first Tsai Ming-liang film I've disliked recycles its predecessors' main actors (Lee Kang-sheng, Chen Shiang-chyi), physical elements (water, Taipei), themes (loneliness, alienation), and stylistic tropes (symmetrical compositions, absence of dialogue). It does offer more lavish musical numbers than The Hole, including choreographed Chinese versions of “Sixteen Tons” and “The Wayward Wind,” and two key additions are watermelons and hard-core sex, sometimes used in conjunction. Tsai's obvious disgust at the sex is part of what makes the film so unpleasant; he remains a brilliant original, but this is a parody of his gifts. In Mandarin with subtitles. 112 min.
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