EYE Film Institute Netherlands will hold a 14-film-strong retrospective on art house auteur Tsai Ming-liang, with a particular emphasis on his award-winning virtual-reality production "The Deserted," from Jan. 10 through 30. The filmmaker will also visit Amsterdam for a masterclass on Jan. 12.
Tsai, 61, is a Malaysia-born filmmaker who has represented Taiwan on the world stage with his distinctive film aesthetics. As a master in the realm of slow cinema, Tsai has won numerous accolades, including the Golden Lion and the Fipresci Prize, at international film festivals. His artistic achievements have been recognized by Taiwan's highest cultural honor — the National Cultural Award — in 2017.
EYE Film Institute has distributed several of Tsai's films in the Netherlands in the past, including "What Time is It There?" (2001) and "I Don't Want to Sleep Alone" (2006). These, along with films such as "Vive L'Amour" (1994) that are in the EYE collection, will begin screening on Jan. 10.
The 14-film-strong program will also include the early masterpieces that landed Tsai on the radar of international cinema critics — "Rebels of the Neon God" (1992), "The River" (1997), "The Hole" (1998), "The Wayward Cloud" (2005), and "Visage" (2009).
One particular highlight of the Dutch retrospective is the extended edition of "The Deserted" (2018), Tsai's first foray into the realm of virtual reality. The 360-degree video features a man recuperating from an illness at a ruined apartment block in the mountains; his occasional companions are the ghost of a mother and a bride, and a kept fish.
The Dutch film institute has also arranged for "Dragon Inn" (1967) by King Hu, a visionary maker of epic martial arts films, to be screened after the showing of Tsai's "Goodbye, Dragon Inn" (2003). The art house tribute features two veteran actors who played in Hu's original sword-fighting film.
Rounding up the list are Tsai's most recent productions, including "Stray Dogs" (2013), "Journey to the West" (2014), "Afternoon" (2015), and "Your Face" (2018). In true Tsai style, all four productions feature collaborating actor Lee Kang-sheng — a longtime muse to Tsai's slow cinema — in prominent fashion.
With support from the Taiwan Cultural Center in Paris and the Taipei Representative Office in The Netherlands, the auteur will also travel to Amsterdam to reflect on his recent works and productions in a Jan. 12 masterclass.
Tsai Ming-liang Retrospective