The Wayward Cloud (Tian bian yi duo yun&lt, Taiwan, 2005)

Not Busby Berkeley

Not Busby Berkeley

Definitely a film for outre tastes as it combines bonkers musical sequences with explicit sex scenes, virtually has no dialogue and concludes with a deeply disturbing scene where the protagonist has sex with a comatose/dead woman on the set of a porn movie. I’m unfamiliar with director Tsai Ming-liang but he’s clearly an auteur and knowledge of his other films are obviously required to help make sense of The Wayward Cloud (see Rouge).

The mise en scene is beautifully composed and the film’s engaging and funny until the climax which should lead you to question ‘why am I watching this?” It is part of the role of cinema to question our sensibilities but, by its nature, transgressing norms is bound to be contentious. Many will find the final scene misogynist; I’m not sure whether it is or representing misogyny; so I need to watch more of Tsai’s films…

The film details the alienation of modern life with pornography as a metaphor for soulless existence. A fairly common view but one expressed in a unique fashion.

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