What Time Is It There?

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Time Out says

Is Tsai ploughing the same furrow once too often? Soon after the death of his father (Miao), Hsiao Kang (Lee) sells a wrist-watch to a girl (Chen) who's about to fly to France. The film then crosscuts between her miserable time in Paris and his increasingly manic behaviour in Taipei (stealing public clocks, resetting timepieces to French time, coping with his batty mother) - until the twin storylines move towards a mysterious synthesis, helped along by Léaud, who enters Kang's life on tape (as Antoine Doinel in Les Quatre Cents Coups) and hers in person (as a randy old man in a cemetery). It all looks and feels a little too much like a rerun of The River, but the emphases on time, coping with bereavement and possible reincarnations give it a reasonably fresh spin. And the underlying black humour is still present and correct: how can you destroy time when some idiot invents a new unbreakable watch?
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Release details

UK release:

2001

Duration:

116 mins

Cast and crew

Director:

Tsai Ming-liang

Cast:

Miao Tien, Lu Yi-Ching, Chen Shiang-Chyi, Lee Kang-sheng, Jean-Pierre Léaud

Production Designer:

Yip Kam-Tim

Editor:

Chen Sheng-Chang

Cinematography:

Benoît Delhomme

Screenwriter:

Yang Pi-Ying, Tsai Ming-liang

Producer:

Chinlin Hsieh, Bruno Pesery

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