Millennium Mambo (Dir. Hou Hsiao-hsien, 2001)
Date: February 2, 2023
Location: 2220 Arts + Archives
Address: 2220 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90057
New 4K restoration!
A stylish and seductive submersion into the techno-scored neon nightlife of Taipei, Hou Hsiao-hsien's much-misunderstood marvel stars Shu Qi (The Assassin) as an aimless bar hostess drifting away from her blowhard boyfriend and towards Jack Kao’s suave, sensitive gangster. Structured as a flashback to the then-present from the then-future of 2011, it’s a transfixing trance-out of a movie, drenched in club lights, ecstatic endorphin-rush exhilaration, and a nagging undercurrent of ennui.
Astonishingly beautiful... The movie has a capital-L look, and the 4K restoration does it justice.
J. Hoberman, The New York Times
A slow burn of profound sadness salved by some of Hou's most breath-catchingly beautiful passages to date.
Dennis Lim, The Village Voice
If Millennium Mambo is the only chance to see Hou Hsaio-hsien's work at a movie theater, you'd better take it.
Wesley Morris, The Boston Globe
Like Tsai Ming-liang’s What Time Is It There?, Millennium Mambo is a ghost story, but what has died is more than a single soul—history, memory, a sense of being and belonging.
James Quandt, Artforum
Millennium Mambo is a time capsule of these tender years, at once ghost story, souvenir and SOS signal. Like delayed rays of light from a dying star, the film is a transmission from a time that no longer exists.
Ross McDonnell, Little White Lies