A film about our desire to feel connected to others through synchonicity of time. Don't see this if you don't have an attention span of less then one minute. Tsai has the Bresson minimalist style down pat. He also is obviously influenced by Ozu, as his camera never moves. The quirky dead pan humor contrasts with the lonely pathos and urban alienation of his characters. Watch for a cameo by a certain French star who spearheaded the French New Wave. This is a film that wears its European art film influences proudly on its sleeve, from its homages to Kieslowski's Rouge and Truffaut's 400 Blows, to the aforementioned Bressonian minimalism.
The Story concerns a young man who sells watches on a skywalk in Taipei. His father has recently passed away and his Buddist mother copes with the loss by trying to lure his spirit back to their home. One day he sells his own dual time watch to a young woman who is leaving for Paris. He becomes obsessed with Paris and starts to set all of his watches to Parisian time, soon even resetting other people's clocks. Unkown to him, his actions estabilish a metaphysical connectiion between the three characters.
The Skywalk is Gone - 9/10
A short film that serves as the epilogue of What Time is it There? and the prologue to The Wayward Clouds. The skywalk where Hsiao Kang sells his watches and met Shiang Chyi has suddenly dissappeared when she returns to Taipei. This leads to some hilarious gags and forces Hsiao Kang to become a porn actor.