Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Wayward Cloud

Tian bian yi duo yun; Erotic musical drama, Taiwan/ France, 2005; D: Ming-liang Tsai, S: Kang-sheng Lee, Shiang-chyi Chen, Yi-Ching Lu, Kuei-Mei Yang, Sumomo Yozakura, Huan-Wen Hsiao

Taiwan is suffering from unbearable heat and water shortage, and many TV programs offer people advice to drink watermelon juice. A young girl can't stand the heat and goes on with an umbrella on the street. At the same time, a movie crew is shooting a porn film involving a male porn star who feels sad. When the girl finds the porn actress unconscious in the elevator, she informs the crew who proceed to film a scene anyway. But the male star falls in love with the girl, and in the middle of the shooting goes to the window and ejaculates into the girls mouth.

Tired of standard, predictable mainstream films and want to watch something you rarely seen before? Then Ming-liang Tsai's "The Wayward Cloud" is the right candidate, an amusing erotic musical with vibrant singing and bizarre ideas that's mostly suitable for the audience with an open mind, because all others will likely give up on it already some half way into the story. Considering the "story", there is none, it's just a frame for surreal, spontaneous moments, like the one where a girl laughs at her mother pressing the button of the elevator or is afraid to pick up lizards on the kitchen floor, set during a heat wave, realized almost entirely without dialogues except for singing, and a slow (some would say boring) pace that can mostly be get if the viewers simply turn off their logic and enjoy the subconscious-meditative images displayed before them. In the end, "Cloud" is nothing more than a neat little film, except that a few erotic scenes, like the opening where a porn actor is "eating" a watermelon placed between the legs of his fellow porn actress, stand out in a way that can be either positive or negative, depending upon how each viewer looks at it.


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