What Time Is It There?

What Time Is It There? ★★★★★

Everyone wants to manipulate time. Whether it is by smashing watches against railings or by changing clocks wherever and whenever possible. Unlike people, cinema is able to manipulate time. 

Side note: You know it’s a great film if it has Lee Kang-sheng watching THE 400 BLOWS and Jean-Pierre Léaud himself in it. An ode to a kind of cinema of the past, contained in two deeply poignant scenes. 

Tsai Ming-liang asks “what time is it there?” 

Missed connections, wanting to connect with what’s lost, time is always there; it’s irrevocable. I’m wondering what time it is in Leuven and in Taipei. Indeed, it’s the same time as it is here. 

The themes of grief, loneliness, isolation, as timeless as they are, are however all the more relevant considering the times we’re currently living in. While the film doesn’t offer a bright outlook, I know where to find that bright outlook myself: in cinema and in a place where it is the same time as it is here.

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