Tsai Ming-Liang: Less Is Absurd

  • Emre Çağlayan


Çağlayan explores the films of Tsai Ming-liang and their relationship to Taiwan New Cinema. Tsai garnered critical praise at international film festivals due to an increasing critical interest in East Asian national waves. But his films display an incongruous mix of conflicting genre conventions, which are detailed in reference to minimalist aesthetics and camp sensibility. Tsai’s main narrational strategy preserves the rudimentary causal links between story actions but uses dead time, stillness and ambiguity in delaying narrative comprehension, resulting in a type of humour that recalls the Theatre of the Absurd. This art-historical genealogy is explored through Tsai’s use of sound, with an emphasis on incongruity as the defining element of absurdism. The analysis concentrates on Goodbye, Dragon Inn (2003), a film that takes cinema-going as its subject matter and the discussion concludes with the nostalgic overtones of cinephilic practice and how these debates find their critical currency in slow cinema.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emre Çağlayan
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Arts and CulturesNewcastle UniversityNewcastle Upon TyneUK

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