Balancing reticence with boundless compassion, despondency with deadpan absurdity, debilitating inertia with a visceral urge for escape, Tsai Ming-liang's unblinking portraits of rootlessness in post-boom Taiwan double as trenchant anatomies of desire—in particular the disavowed, diverted, and repressed varieties. Nothing if not a city of sadness, his Taipei is a sort of overpopulated ghost town whose heartsick inhabitants, entombed in anonymous, mausoleum-like high-rises, seem to exist in their own private limbo—their chronic unease exacerbated by an incessant murmur of white noise and a mind-boggling array of plumbing woes. Even more waterlogged than the Wong Kar-wai oeuvre, Tsai's films return time and again to a single element: a... More >>>