As part of the Tsai Ming-liang: The Deserted film series, we are pleased to be presenting a 35mm screening of the filmmaker’s critically acclaimed Goodbye, Dragon Inn, followed by a discussion and Q&A.
The feature film takes place in a decaying cinema at the time of its final projection before closing its doors. The late wuxia master King Hu’s 1966 classic swordplay film Dragon Inn – a film Tsai says has captured his imagination since he was eleven years old – is screened to a diminishing audience. Among the handful of remaining viewers are two of the actors who feature in the film, ghostly relics from Asian cinema’s golden age whose presence evokes the literal translation of the film’s Mandarin title 不散, meaning ‘no leaving’. Meanwhile, the movements of the theatre’s two staff and a gay cruising subplot take us into all corners of the building, exploring the site and present use of the old theatre. Described as ‘a beautiful love poem to the movies’ (Slant), Goodbye, Dragon Inn exquisitely captures the elegiac mood surrounding the fate of cinema at the turn of the twenty-first century.