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Afternoon dir. Tsai Ming-liangAfternoon dir. Tsai Ming-liang
NH Tit-Bits
24 February 2016

16th T-Mobile New Horizons IFF: "Afternoon" by Tsai Ming-liang

I have a feeling that I'm going to die soon, Ming-liang Tsai reveals in the opening minutes of his lengthy film interview. This master of Asian cinema, who declared that his 2014 film Stray Dogs was the crowning achievement of his career, asked his long-time friend and professional partner, actor Kang-sheng Lee, to appear on-camera with him. They have worked together for more than 20 years, beginning with Tsai's feature-length debut from 1992, Rebels of the Neon God. Lee has appeared in every one of Tsai's feature productions, and his melancholy face has become one of the hallmarks of the Malaysian's work. Compared with the director's other achievements, Afternoon is unusual—it has more dialogue than all of his previous films combined. The volatility of the maker of The Wayward Cloud, his verbosity, his tendency to fluctuate between despair and joy contrasts with the reserved nature of the actor, who often interrupts his friend's emotional outbursts with an ironic joke. Afternoon is a sensitive tête-à-tête meeting of two completely different personalities and an opportunity for them to discuss a number of topics from the serious to the frivolous. Painful memories of the death of Tsai's loved ones through reflections on the cinema to details about ... foot care.

Tsai Ming-liang is a Malaysian filmmaker living in Taiwan, one of the most important contemporary filmmakers, and an admirer of the French New Wave. He has won numerous awards, including a Golden Lion in Venice for Vive L'Amour (1994). He is known for making contemplative films that, at the same time, do not shy away from using genre conventions. His work includes a musical about the porn industry (The Wayward Cloud), as well as an intimate, apocalyptic science fiction film (Hole).

Selected filmography:

1994 Niech żyje miłość / Ai qing wan sui / Vive l'Amour

1997 Rzeka / He liu / The River

2003 Bu san / Good Bye, Dragon Inn

2009 Twarz / Visage / Face

2013 Bezpańskie psy / Jiao you / Stray Dogs

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