07 July 2008

I Don't Want to Sleep Alone

Written & Directed by: Tsai Ming-Liang
Full credits from IMDb

Grade: B+


The camera moves twice, by my count, in I Don’t Want to Sleep Alone (Hei Yan Quan)—once because a bus stops in front of the lens, and a second time it slides laterally, a few inches, so gradually that it’s almost imperceptible. Tsai’s latest is a succession of static images, some only seconds long while others extend several minutes, like a series of page A1, above-the-fold photographs of Malay street life and hospital ritual in motion. It’s cinema with a purity of patience, centered on one walletless vagrant (Lee Kang-Sheng) who’s beaten and left to collapse on the sidewalk. He’s taken to a hospital where Die Zauberflöte usually pumps from the boombox. (Sleep Alone is one of the distinguished films, cf. Syndromes and a Century, financed as part of the New Crowned Hope Festival.)

Tsai teases out subliminal poesy from the film’s deceptive simplicity, using dialogue sparsely to fashion a portrait of contemporary urban loneliness—thus the film’s title, far more overt than the subtle film. He defines his characters through their surroundings—where they eat, sleep, wash their clothes—and, to a lesser extent, the simple things they do in those spaces. So, his camera doesn’t follow the actors; instead, from the prime vantage points Tsai has arranged in advance, it soaks up locations, none more striking than the hospital’s core: a flooded, gutted shell that, Scott Tobias wrote, “has the look of a haunted opera house.”


As I Don’t Want to Sleep Alone, set in a crowded city of solitaire souls, progresses, a smoky haze of mysterious origin passes over the city; everyone begins to wear gasmasks, the streets turn a sickly dustbowl gold, and the formerly bleak atmosphere becomes almost post-apocalyptic. Thick and pervasive, the cloud makes kissing without choking nearly impossible. Ending on an image of the three central characters on a white mattress, sailing on an inky, blue-black sea, Tsai’s final analysis of the modern condition is ambiguous, as in the rest of the film: people are together, but alone; a hint of optimism struggles to be heard amid a clamor of pessimism.


Watch the trailer:

9 comments:

Danny said...

The man who gets beaten is picked up and cared for by another man in his squat-like home.
I thought it was another man (with a buzzed haircut) who was catatonic fwho was being cared for more professionaly. He has a catheter and paid caretakers. He is not in a hospital, but a more upscale home, differnet from where the centarl characters (the woman who cares for the sick man, the beaten man and the man who cares for him) live.

I noticed in the credits that the first two listed names are the same. I assume the same actor playing two roles. This might be where some confusion lies.
I thought it was a beautiful film, like watching a hopper painting in action.
Thanks -D

reggie said...

WOW!!! what a Fantastic movie.......marvelous.....superb....great story....I loved this story....I think Tsai Ming-liang has done fabulous job of directing this movie because movie is very sweet. I love to watch I Don’t Want to Sleep Alone movie again and again.

Anonymous said...

After being informed of aion kinah the problem, wow power leveling their daughter's date said he aion kinah could get the peanut out. wedding dresses the pilot dog clothes threw open the door and jumped Aion gold from world of warcraft power leveling the plane.flyff power leveling the young man's world of warcraft power leveling sunburn started acting up again.maple story mesos He asked to be excused, flyff power leveling went into cabal gold the kitchen wedding dress designers The executoner said that wow gold if this happens warhammer power leveling a second time throws out shaiya gold a grenade and says, flyff power leveling i'm in the army,last chaos gold i can get these dog clothes whenever i need them. maple story power leveling"so they all land 2moons power leveling safely dragonica gold

homes for sale costa rica said...

hello. thank you very much for letting me comment. very good article I would like more information on this item

Anonymous said...

replica Rolex Day Date II : This particular Japanese movement Patek Philippe replica can certainly be the ultimate style statement for you. This is a fully automatic Rolex Milgauss replica , which requires no batteries at all. The case of the Burberry watches is made out of 440 Grade, solid stainless steel and certainly gives a polished stainless steel look. This trendy IWC replica watches is certainly a certified replica U-boat watches movement replica oris . The glass is absolutely scratch resistant as it is made out of genuine Croum replica watches . The Panerai watches is absolutely great in terms of functionality and also waterproof at the same time. The replica Rolex Explorer watches displays accurate markings all over it including the bands. This particular w Graham replica not only looks great but also very strong and durable at the same time just like the Rado watches itself.

A.Lange & Sohne watches movement Movado watches is not only a great piece of accessory but can also be a style statement for you. When you buy these fabulous replica watches from replica Breitling watches , you not only get a 1 year full replacement warranty on them but also receive full customer satisfaction provided by the store itself.

wedding dresses 2011 said...

this is a good blog

Olive Green Ball Gown said...

At the end of the day we have an image which is 35 years old, with an interesting and sordid history. Albums with the controversial image are still available *world wide* in recent pressings. You can walk into a record store in the UK and buy it. The image is widely available on the internet, including sites like amazon.co.uk. So blocking the Wikipedia article discussing the image simply makes no sense. (they didn't even block the image itself!)

emerald green prom dress said...

emerald green prom dress from http://www.fashionweddinggowns.com/

wholesale wedding dresses said...

i found your site in yahoo. And I will be back next time, thank you.