Synopsis by Jonathan Crow
This second film by prominent Taiwanese director Tsai Ming-liang is a brilliant portrayal of isolation and urban disillusionment in modern Taipei. The movie focuses on three lonely souls: Hsiao-kang, a gay salesman of crematorium niches who wanders the city on his scooter; Ah-jung, a handsome street hawker of counterfeit designer goods; and May Lin, a struggling real estate agent. Hsiao-kang sneaks into a vacant apartment with a stolen key, takes a bath, and tries to slash his wrists. Meanwhile, May picks up Ah-jung and enters the same flat for a late-night tryst. As the film progresses, each character goes through the tedium of their lives: May waits in empty houses for prospective clients; Ah-jung hawks his wares while avoiding the police, and Hsiao-kang places fliers in anonymous mailboxes. All three use the unoccupied apartment at various times for their own needs without realizing the presence of the others, until Hsiao-kang and Ah-jung run into each other. After they both flee the place when May arrives, they develop an odd sort of friendship.
craziness, depression, friendship, ghetto, peeping-tom, suicide, witness
High Artistic Quality, High Historical Importance, High Production Values