Fifth about The Seventh

Long Day’s Journey Into Night (Diqiu Zuihou de Yewan)

Long Day’s Journey Into Night: set somewhere in the space between dreams and memories, Bi Gan’s poetic journey starts off as a languorous noir of sorts. It moves as a deep dark-water river, and the image is not gratuitous, since water figures in so many scenes (as steam, rain, flooded rooms). The film ably ping-pongs between two timelines, as both the quest for a woman from the main character’s past and the past itself are explored. This is a visually wonderful film, even before a formal flourish that comes at mid-point: the cinematographers (Yao Hung-i, Dong Jingsong, David Chizallet) have an exquisite sense of framing, lit beautifully and colorfully (making the best possible way of all that water), all in patiently extended shots, creating one striking image after the other. All that even before the bravura shot which dominates the second half of the picture; the camera travels all over a city as the main character moves around, in a very intricate blocking by the performers. The hypnotic musical score by Point Hsu and Lim Giong helps set the oniric mood. The two central performers are quite good: Huang Jue, as the dogged man searching, remembering and dreaming, is quite convincing in his melancholy and perseverance, while Tang Wei is alluring and mysterious, justifying the quest.

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