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by Danny Baldwin

Tsai Ming-liang's "Goodbye, Dragon Inn" is a film short on words, as evidenced by this extended 20-minute sequence completely free of dialogue, which both establishes the geography of the focal cinema hall and informs the audience's understanding of the proprietor's quotidian existence. Inarguably an exercise in slow cinema, the film relies on long takes and repetitive actions (i.e. the woman's disability) to capture a certain state of being. And by foregrounding a film exhibition site, filmmaker Tsai perhaps suggests that the cinematic apparatus offers a state of being unto its own, and mourn the implications that its demise might have for the visceral impact of film texts.

Goodbye, Dragon Inn (Tsai, 2003) — Life in the Cinema Space

A cinema manager walks the halls and caverns of the decaying palace on the eve of its closure.

from Goodbye, Dragon Inn (2003)
Creator: Tsai Ming-liang
Distributor: Wellspring Media
Posted by Danny Baldwin