Rizi the eternity of an instant

Tsai Ming-liang’s eleventh feature film, the first to be released by the Taiwanese master since he announced in 2013 that he was leaving narrative cinema and an irrefutable demonstration that it is fortunate that he reconsidered that decision The Misfits full movie online exhibits the unmistakable style of its author: the plot it hardly exists; the dialogues are minimal and inconsequential, and throughout the footage there is no more music than an iconic melody coming from inside a small music box; the shots are very long, and the camera is still almost at all times. From this method, and from the patient observation to which he invites, emerges a hypnotic atmosphere that is more eloquent than any dialogue, and more enveloping and moving than any plot.

Also like the rest of Tsai’s films, ‘Rizi’ meditates on loneliness. And for this he contemplates two desolate men who meet, share a moment and just after they separate. So simple, and so deep. During the first hour of footage, one – Lee Kang-sheng, an inseparable actor from the director – is seen undergoing brutal medical treatment to relieve terrible pain in the neck, and the other bathes, prays, prepares food, eats.

Seemingly banal activities become sources of empathy and mystery. Then their meeting takes place, during a massage session with a happy ending from which a transcendent connection emerges, and which Tsai turns into one of the most tender cinematic moments of sexual intimacy in memory. They will not see each other again, but the ecstasy of their union will continue to be preserved intact within the music box.

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