What Time Is It There?

What Time Is It There? ★★★½

I'm in mourning.

Did you really watch a Tsai Ming-liang movie if there wasn't at least one moment where you had to check if the movie was buffering, and then you see nope, it's just that this particular scene is very still? That's the good stuff. One of those movies where I'm giving it three and a half stars but it could and likely will go up to four stars on a revisit. I am a fan of how Tsai portrays time and space in his films, so here we have one where time specifically is all that it's about. How Tsai decorates every space also really gets to me, there's a distinct whimsy to the way that he portrays these very real spaces that brings out the magic from the mundane. The spaces a character inhabits in a Tsai film feels like an extension of themselves, and sometimes you get the other way around, where an environment feels like it's seeping into the being of whoever is in it. Of course can't call this or any other Tsai movie "exciting," yet this guy has such a gift for putting you in a lull with his stories. You put one on, and you're going to be hooked by something. Bonus points for its cinematography being done by the legendary Benoît Delhomme, who gives the film that much more of a stellar eye for melancholy and the time that can envelop us or pass us by before we realize what we missed.


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