Quick-Thoughts: Tsai Ming-liang’s Days

Wow, the shot length average in Days makes the shot length average in Rebels of a Neon God look like that one fence-climbing scene from Taken 3.

Everyday solemnity brought to the big screen in some cases has a meditative “reality” forte to it, but most for that matter could probably replicate what’s been done here — as if any event description of Days or the basic still-like imageries in its total composition couldn’t convince you otherwise. The question at stake lies though, who would actually want to make such an output?

Now that, we could answer confidently. Days is a bracket of piece that only Tsai Ming-liang and perhaps a few others would actually put into play. And now that we have this objectively real yet objectively fictional (it’s a tongue-twister, I know) outlook on daily life to endure, how does it actually feel? Well, it’s kind of like experiencing ASMR for two hours, minus any implication of amplified dramatization for both the ears or the visuals — this is authenticity in the flesh for better or worse. 

If you’ve read the premise and “gimmick” to Days already, everything you would expect to be in it is probably… well, in it. How you’ll feel afterwards about it, nonetheless, is about as calculable as a wildcard. A melancholic turtle, a rambunctious critic, a peaceful plant? Who knows what effects such a straightforward patience-tester will have in transforming the individual.

For me, I was soothed by a handful of its unfeigned tapings, but felt, thought and found virtually nothing newly provoking to it by the termination. Maybe, that was Tsai Ming-liang’s intention? Maybe, that is indeed the key thrust of Days existence, to insinuate that this bittersweet mundanity is strictly… us? Well, I suppose that settles it then. 

Verdict: C+

2020 Ranked

“Days” will be released in select theaters soon.

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