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The Wayward Cloud (Tian bian yi duo yun)


Dir. Tsai Ming-liang. 2005, 112 mins. 35mm. Lee Kang-sheng, Chen Shiang-chyi, Lu Yi-ching. A diversion, digression, or break from Tsai’s ongoing process of paring down his style to an ever-more-deadpan minimalism, The Wayward Cloud is perhaps the most misunderstood of his films, and ripe for reappraisal. Hsiao-kang, now working in Taipei’s porn industry, lives in the same building as Shiang-chyi, and an initial meet-cute soon leads down a wormhole of dark, depersonalized sexual transactions. Tsai fills his film with uncharacteristically expressive cutting and colorful, often crassly humorous musical numbers, including a showstopping Black Widow number for Tsai mainstay Lu Yi-ching. “Tsai’s least perfect film…and also his boldest” (Michael Koresky, Reverse Shot).

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