What Time Is It There?

What Time Is It There? ★★★★★

Yet from another masterpiece from Tsai Ming-liang, full of virtuosic compositions, and steeped in the longing of characters in throes of ineffable grief and loneliness. "Is that you coming back to me?" a wife mourning her late husband asks the fish in her fish tank, her hand outstretched towards it in a moment that very nearly brought me to tears. Her taciturn son, a watch salesman, grieves his father's death in his own specific, idiosyncratic way, obsessively changing the time of every clock he sees as if he was unconsciously longing for control over the steady march of time. A young woman he sells his own watch to leaves Taipei for Paris, where acute isolation sets in as she tries to find her way in a foreign country. Tsai’s navigating between them is perfect. Haunting and profound.

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