The River (He liu) (1997)
Critic Reviews for The River (He liu)
The River is difficult and unpleasant at times, but as a somber metaphor for contaminated lives, it's masterful.
Tsai is so adept at pacing and mood, and so good at capturing a sense of yearning, that his film draws us in despite its unusually long takes and sparse cutting.
The result is a stunning surreal film that remains unexplored in all the mysteries it holds, just like the river that flows in the city.
A brilliant, multi-layered work by a true artist of the cinema.
Too murky and long to swim in.
a painfully incisive portrait of the contemporary human condition
Audience Reviews for The River (He liu)
In his third film, Tsai moves his focus to the nuclear family and creates his most depressing work to date - perhaps a bit too depressing for its own sake -, as it follows a group of characters whose murky lives flow like a river through isolation and lack of communication in modern Taipei.
some don't like tsai's pacing but i have found him mesmerizing and this is certainly no exception. and while many considered it bleak, i saw it more as a black comedy. i'm watching tsai's films in order which isn't strictly necessary i guess but i do believe there is an overarching narrative and this is an important piece of the puzzle. to be continued...
A very hard film to watch while at the same time riveting, here is a somber look at the modern family, where no one shares the same interests, everyone lives separate lives except for the occasional meal or two. The roof is leaking and getting worse and no one knows why ... a disturbing work, and for adults only.
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