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What Time Is It There? Review

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★★★★★

Following the critical success of The River and The Hole, Taiwan-based writer-director Tsai Ming-Liang returns with his fifth feature.

The film also continues Tsai’s pairing with actor Lee Kang-Sheng, who — as has been the case in all of Tsai’s films — plays recurring character Hsaio-Kang.

Dedicated to Lee and Tsai’s fathers, What Time Is It There? is an examination of alienation and loss set in Paris and Taipei, Tsai’s adopted home.

Calculatedly sparse, it employs a stationary camera, little dialogue and long takes. Although this makes for challenging viewing that will not be to everyone’s taste, the film boasts great photography, inspired moments of absurd, surreal humour and the most brilliantly subtle ending of any film you’re likely to see this year.