DFT @ Home | The Hole

(Taiwan/1998—directed by Tsai Ming-liang) 

Set just prior to the start of the 21st century, this timely yet vaguely futuristic movie – perhaps the world’s first “quarantine musical” – follows two residents of a crumbling building who refuse to leave their homes in spite of a rapidly spreading virus that has forced the evacuation of the area. As rain pours down relentlessly, a single man is stuck with an unfinished plumbing job and a hole in his floor, which in turn results in an odd and unexpected relationship with the woman who lives below him.

Combining deadpan humor with an austere view of loneliness and a couple of out-of-the-blue musical numbers, Tsai Ming-Liang (What Time is it There?, Rebels of the Neon God) crafted one of the most original films of the 1990s. Presented in a shortened, sanitized version for French television's 2000 Seen by... series, this complete, theatrical version – the director's preferred cut – was described in 1998 by critic J. Hoberman as "Tsai's most distilled, droll, deftly realized allegory. One of the year’s ten best." Special Prize, 1998 Cannes Film Festival.

In Mandarin with English subtitles. (89 minutes) 

 

“The most memorable fusion of song, dance and weather since Singin’ in the Rain.” – Dennis Lim, Village Voice 

 

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