Dir. Hou Hsiao-hsien. 2001, 105 mins. 35mm. With Shu Qi, Jack Kao, Tuan Chun-hao.
The story of a young woman whose life is in flux, Millennium Mambo stars Shu Qi as Vicky, a bar hostess fed up with her jealous boyfriend, Hao-hao, who finds a refuge of sorts with a gangster named Jack. A departure in more ways than one, Millennium Mambo finds Hou deviating from his usual long-take master shots to work closer to his actors, and in a distinctly contemporary setting, filled with the throb of electronic music. Even the present is a future past, as Vicky narrates the events of the film from the year 2011. “Mambo is a ghost story, but what has died is more than a single soul—rather, history, memory, a sense of being and belonging.”—James Quandt, Artforum.
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