The Mellon Globalization Forum hosted the fifth screening in its About the Body: A World Film Series titled I Don’t Want to Sleep Alone (dir. Tsai Ming-liang, 2006, Taiwan and Malaysia), with introduction and Q&A with Brandon Kemp and Dr. Casey Schoenberger on Monday, March 21st at the SUT.
Synopsis: "Even as Tsai Ming-liang nearly hypnotizes the viewer with his elegantly composed static images and methodical pacing, rarely does a filmmaker encouraged such active engagement with stillness. The Taiwanese director might be the visual narrative stylist par excellence working in cinema today; an entire story, a life, a world, breathes through his films, even as he rarely burdens them with language. [...] Tsai gives us time to surmise, to interpret and distill his motives, to watch how sunlight changes as it beams through a window or to scan all corners to see from which end people will emerge. Such demand is not only respectful of its audience but also invigorating - Tsai's films leave your eyes wide with wonder and expectation.
"His latest film, the heartrending "I Don't Want to Sleep Alone" shies away from dialogue. [...] Aside from some brief introductory scenes of a garrulous con man trying to swindle Chinese immigrant Hsiao-kang out of money before leaving him a bloody, bedraggled mess on the streets of Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur, "I Don't Want to Sleep Alone" treads delicately and wordlessly across newly fraught terrain. With its portrait of immigrant workers living in impoverished conditions, the film uses a new setting for its director's usual bag of minimalist tricks."
Michael Koresky, www.indiewire.com (May 8, 2007)