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The Hole (1998)

Cast: Yang Kuei-Mei, Yang Kuei-Mei, Lee Kang-Sheng, more...
Director: Tsai Ming-Liang, Tsai Ming-Liang
    see all cast/crew...
Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Fox Lorber
Genre: Foreign, Disaster Action, Romantic Comedy, Taiwan, Musicals
Running Time: 95 min.
Languages: Mandarin
Subtitles: English
    see additional details...

At the 1998 Cannes Film Festival, this Taiwanese-French drama won a FIPRESCI Award, given by international critics. Taiwanese director Tsai Ming-liang previously won top awards for his 1994 Vive l'amour (at Venice) and 1996 The River (at Berlin). High strangeness is evident in the tale, originally initiated as part of the French TV series of one-hour end-of-millennium dramas. As an epidemic spreads through Taipei, virus victims display odd symptoms. A man (Lee Kang-sheng) who runs a food store with few customers lives in a shabby building in a quarantined section, and a woman (Yang Kuei-mei) in the same building has a withdrawn existence. A plumber, checking a leak, makes a hole in the man's floor and leaves; the man then observes his neighbors through the hole. The film features four musical fantasy sequences that recall Hong Kong musical films of the '50s. ~ Bhob Stewart, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

where do you start? by thediesis January 19, 2006 - 2:48 PM PST
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful
i guess the premise had me hooked:it is just before new years 2000-- the turn of the millineum and there is a new virus that is striking in a monsoon stricken taiwan. this virus makes the person who has it think they are a COCKROACH, seeking damp, dark places. add that it is a post modern musical semi-love story. its pacing is slow, music beautiful, and funny, and somehow its ideas about modern loneliness are endearning.... its not for everyone (the pace), but if you want something different, moody, oddly lyrical, i'd recommend it first before seeing one of his movies like 'goodbye dragon inn.'

dancing with the camera by DPOWERS October 16, 2002 - 8:54 AM PDT
11 out of 11 members found this review helpful
tsai ming-liang's sense of humor and his love for his regular cast (yang kuei-mei in 3 movies, lee kang-sheng in all but 2) draw a basic story into a chain of dance scenes between solitary, house-bound heroes and a camera that won't give them the privacy they pretend to want.

they are dance scenes, though. the main story is framed by lipsync numbers set in the dirty cement landscape of the apartment building -- the song-and-dances are both savvy and sincere and are strung alongside the story, not clearly attached i think. then rain, radio, and timing provide the music for the slow physical performances of the real movie, finishing with a sharp, odd, and funny free dance with a liberating stab of fulfillment at the very end.

it's a minimalist musical, this one, and it's about as well done as you could do it. might not be your favorite as it is mine but it takes on urban isolation on its own terms, if you're blue, give it a shot.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 7.18)
74 Votes
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