Millennium Mambo Restoration at Metrograph – Watch the trailer

Metrograph Pictures is releasing the 2001 film that follows a young woman’s turmoil in a new 4K edition in cinemas and at home.

Millennium Mambo

Metrograph Images

Taiwanese master of Ozu-like drama, Hou Hsiao-hsien hasn’t released a feature film since 2015’s wuxia drama The Assassin, which nearly made him an Oscar contender. In this film, Chinese superstar Shu Qi played an assassin who assassinates the government. In Millennium Mambo, Hou’s tightly constructed 2001 drama, she plays a disaffected nightclub hostess in post-2000 Taipei who stumbles through a series of relationships that we now, more than two decades later, describe as ” toxic” understand. Millennium Mambo has long been hard to find on home video, but Metrograph Pictures is re-releasing the film in theaters December 23 and online through the label’s Metrograph at Home selection. Watch the new trailer for Millennium Mambo below, exclusively on IndieWire.

This clip, taken from the beginning of the film, captures the kind of sleepwalking atmosphere Hou evokes. Moments of wordless visual poetry – from this scene to Hou filming neon-glowing club scenes or a slow-motion shot of a woman leaning out of the sunroof of a car speeding through a tunnel – are punctuated by the acrimonious exchange between Vicky ( Shu Qi) and her friends. There’s DJ Hao-hao (Tuan Chun-hao) and gangster Jack (Kao Jack), both of whom cause trouble for Vicky. Hou shoots these scenes close-up, almost unbearably, and out of focus, but isn’t afraid to inject a little humor every now and then – like when Vicky pulls Hao-hao out of her bedroom by the arm and tells him to “come out right now!” after one drug handler.

“Millennium Mambo” has a sultriness not seen in most of Hou’s other films, from his Golden Lion-winning “A City of Sadness” to “The Puppetmaster”, “Flowers of Shanghai” and the beloved ” Café Lumiere”, his most direct answer to Ozu. With “Millennium,” Hou seems to be donning a completely different set of clothes, something closer to New Wave or documentary or Cassavetes in terms of rawness. The majority of the film takes place at night, which together with the electronic pop music that rushes through the film in an almost drone-like manner, gives the film a feeling of spiritual stillness. Vicky makes her way through life on drugs, drink and free spirits, but it’s lonely.

See “Millennium Mambo” on Metrograph or via Metrograph at Home starting December 23.

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Lindsay Lowe

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