The style and construction of this film has become quite fashionable in the past 10 years or so, especially in East Asia. Young filmmakers all want to take long shots and pull elegant camera moves on delinquents - who often do unattractive things and get into interesting troubles. What is this fascination with delinquents? Is it because they are more likely to get into scenarios where the visuals can be appealing? Maybe the tradition already existed in Italian Neo-Realism. Imagine I Vitelloni made by Antonioni, as one of my favorite critics wrote. That said, Hou Hsiao-Hsien actually lived like on of these boys in his youth. As a consequence, no one tells such stories as well as he does, and of course this is a wonderful film, easy on the eyes and immeasurably watchable. Moreover, if a film can influence Jia Zhang-Ke, it must be great, no?