“I believe that as much as you influence your film, the film also influences you. You think you are in control but then things happen that you didn’t anticipate. That’s cinema, and you need to be open and listen to your film.”
This week on Drink in the Movies Michael & Taylor discuss their 10 favorite films of 2021 so far, as well as hand out show awards for Wounded Soldiers, Squandered Talents, Best Ensemble, Best Documentary, Best OST, Best Actor and Actress(Lead and Supporting), Best Directorial Debut, and Best Classic Discovery.
On the cusp of the new millennium, two neighboring apartment dwellers, one living above the other, seem to nearly drown in their loneliness. They’re essentially the last ones in their complex; everyone else has been driven out by evacuation orders as an epidemic, the so-called “Taiwan fever,” rages throughout the area. A never-ending torrential downpour keeps them inside, their curiosity towards each other and longing for companionship growing with every passing day. A hole in the man’s floor/the woman’s ceiling, caused by a plumbing issue, becomes a kind of passageway, one for both the tangible and intangible. They might not have much for entertainment, but at least the man and woman have cinematic memories to escape into, represented by magical little song-and-dance interludes; it’s like Tsai lifted the sequences straight out of a classic movie musical and restaged them in this dilapidated apartment complex. That last gesture, the simple offering of a glass of water—so moving. No one knows how to end a movie better than Tsai.