Film Micrœview #162: Rebels of the Neon God (1992)
10.31.2014 § Leave a comment
Sometimes you go back and watch one of your favorite director’s first movies, and you can see him using some of the same tricks he’ll use later, or having the same fixations even back then, but overall it’s extremely rough and juvenile and amateurish. Not so much here. Ming-liang appears to have simply burst onto the scene as himself. Flooding, urban alienation, long wide quiet shots, excellent composition, Lee Kang-sheng, thin walls, lives intertwining, longing but being unable to act it out. Now, maybe things are a tad more fast-faced, straightforward, and tidily wrapped up here… but hard to say whether this “happy” ending is the “real” ending. I guess you could say here he feels more like a sum of his influences than more — specifically, Fassbinder and Antonioni, with a bit of Truffaut’s 400 Blows and Bresson’s Pickpocket mixed in.