Tian bian yi duo yun

The Wayward Cloud
Tsai Ming-Liang’s latest film picks up on a number of elements from his 2001 work, WHAT TIME IS IT THERE? A young woman named Shiang-Chyi returns from France to discover that the promenade in front of the main railway station in Taipei has been torn down and she can no longer meet watch salesman Hsiao-Kang there. The whole city is beset by a extreme water shortage and Shiang-Chyi is obliged to either steal water from her workplace or drink watermelon juice. The need to save water seems to preoccupy the lonely Shiang-Chyi just as much as a suitcase she is having trouble opening.
One day she runs into Hsiao-Kang by chance in the park and a tender romance with daily trysts at Shiang-Chyi’s apartment ensues. What Shiang-Chyi doesn’t know is that Hsiao-Kang is now working as an actor in porn films and that these videos are even made in a neighbouring apartment of the building where she lives.
The film’s puzzling narrative is interspersed by lively and imaginative musical sequences that transport the viewer away from the mysterious things that take place in Shiang-Chyi’s apartment. Meanwhile, the young woman’s abode has become a refuge for a number of very strange characters indeed, including a puzzling lady with a suitcase; a man addicted to pornography; the dehydrated cast and crew of a porn film, and a Japanese woman who is suddenly discovered in the lift, unable to move.
What’s going to happen when Shiang-Chyi comes across all these people?
by Tsai Ming Liang
with Shiang Chyi Chen, Kang Sheng Lee, Yi Ching Lu
Taiwan / France 2004 112’

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