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PRINT October/November 2020

film

TIME IS THE BEST AUTHOR

Tsai Ming-liang’s Rizi (Days), 2020, 4K video, color, sound, 127 minutes. Non (Anong Houngheuangsy).

NEARLY THIRTY YEARS of filming the same face, the same body: The old chestnut that “every fiction film is a documentary of its actors” takes on special meaning in the many works Tsai Ming-liang has made with Lee Kang-sheng since first chancing on him outside a Taipei arcade in 1991. “Without this face, I don’t want to make films anymore,” Tsai said eighteen years later. Is a greater declaration of love possible? Lee has appeared in nearly every one of the Malaysian director’s projects since their meeting, whether these were destined for television, cinema, the gallery, or VR. Although Tsai’s interest in duration may be most evident in his affinity for glacial long takes, Lee’s sustained presence offers another way of approaching the filmmaker’s exploration of protracted temporality, one that sets him apart from many other festival favorites who traffic in slowness. Tsai’s cinema

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