Despite its artistry, it seems to last nearly a millennium.
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This is a great companion piece to Hou's masterly "Flowers of Shanghai" and fresh evidence of his status as Taiwan's greatest filmmaker.
A slow, empty, over-mannered snoozer that shows Taiwanese helmer Hou Hsiao-hsien asleep at the wheel.
In a sense, Millennium Mambo is a mildly prurient portrait of Shu moving, drinking, smoking, and changing clothes -- it's analogous to one of Andy Warhol's Edie Sedgwick films, but without the existential drama. Who really cares what costume this poor girl will wear to all tomorrow's parties?
Jean-Luc Godard famously declared that all it takes to make a movie is a girl and a gun. Both turn up in Millennium Mambo, a ravishing bauble about la dolce vita in Taiwan, but frankly, the gun's an afterthought. This is a movie about the girl.
Not much happens on the surface of Hou Hsiao Hsien's latest film...Nevertheless, it can break your heart.
This extraordinary work of cinematic art is among the most sublime, compelling and beautifully crafted films to grace the big screen.
Millennium Mambo is a resolutely minor work, so enveloped in ennui that it never gets past the surface of things. But those surfaces are remarkable.
The film is dark, both literally and figuratively. Only at the very end do we get a glimpse of the sun.
If Millennium Mambo is the only chance to see Hou Hsaio-hsien's work at a movie theater, you'd better take it.