Quick-Thoughts: Tsai Ming-liang’s Goodbye Dragon Inn (2003)

Screened at The Frida Cinema

Spacing out while going to get your leftover food? I feel that. 

Hands down, Goodbye, Dragon Inn has the strongest cinematography and sound design I’ve seen yet in a Tsai Ming-liang production, and much of this could be because I’ve never seen a movie take so much advantage over its single location gimmick. Oh, he wasn’t standing on a fence that whole time? F**k, the imposing deception in this movie! 

Seeing people in a movie theater, seeing people be obnoxiously comfortable in a movie theater, seeing people being mislead by their influence in a movie theater under the guises of their imagined environment — thanks cinema —, seeing people process a stranger’s physique or plausible story in the dark, seeing people elongate their own time through uncomfortable situations, seeing people silently look up in “awe” at those of the past, seeing people leave that past behind, seeing people mechanically circling boxes in the reminisce of just experiencing fictional dopamine — thanks cinema… again —, seeing people procure a connection with another no matter how impulsive, seeing us dilate on a singular sound even among other things vocalizing all at once. We are all wandering spirits. Goodbye, Dragon Inn is an absolute surreal fever dream of a movie and, of course, another Tsai Ming-liang knockout that stirred up a godly plethora of emotions in me.

Verdict: A-

Tsai Ming-liang Ranked

“Goodbye Dragon Inn” is currently not available to stream on VOD.

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