Capital Celluloid 2019 - Day 298: Fri Oct 25

 Millennium Mambo (Hou Hsiao-Hsien, 2001): Barbican Cinema, 6.30pm

This 35mm presentation, which is also being shown at the Cinema Museum on October 28th (details here), is part of the ‘Nightlife: Ourselves; Our Spaces on Film’ season at the Barbican Cinema. Full details here.

Time Out review:
Vicky (Shu Qi) came to Taipei as a teenager and lurched into an affair with the ultra-possessive Hao-Hao (Tuan Chun-hao), who lived for DJ-ing but thought it would be uncool to play records for a living. She decided she'd leave him when her savings ran out but in the meantime gravitated into the orbit (not the bed) of small-time gangster Jack (JacKao), who treated her like a best friend. But when she finally moved into Jack's place, he had a sudden money crisis and disappeared somewhere in Japan. This differs from Hou's earlier accounts of women around male riff-raff (Daughter of the Nile, the present-day parts of Good Men, Good Women) in two striking ways. First, it looks back at the present from a point ten years in the future, rendering it strange and distant. Second, Vicky is seen not as a marginalised onlooker but as a young woman coming into bloom, learning by experience how to build her own identity. The film is a virtual portrait of Shu Qi, in much the way that Godard once made films as pretexts for capturing the moods of Anna Karina. Extremely beautiful, as hypnotic as its trance-techno soundtrack, and (like Flowers of Shanghai) very, very druggy.
Tony Rayns

Here (and above) is the trailer.

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