@ Osians Cinefan Film Fest: I Don’t Want To Sleep Alone by Tsai Ming-Liang

I wasn’t planning to write a review of I Don’t Want To Sleep Alone since I was so tired I slept through a significant part of it, but the 60 percent of the film I saw still haunts me. I missed all the connections, didn’t get the storyline, but the cinematography and the treatment of the plot is disturbing.

The film is a collection of long single shots of odd behaviour – it’s dark and the lack of dialogue intensifies the sound from the movements – so much so, while walking back to the car, driving back, eating, taking a leak — every sound seemed amplified, every moment seemed lonely. This is particularly significant in light of comments made by Shefaly to this post – people with gadgets to talk into but nobody to talk to, people with more chargers than books, people with a fear of the sound of silence- and the discussion thereafter, as well as the significance of the ending to She and He by Eyles Baccar.

I Don’t Want To Sleep Alone has long dark takes of strange behaviour in an abandoned building which make the whole experience gloomy. Long shots of men carrying a discarded mattress through a street to an abandoned building, of one man struggling to help an almost lifeless man defecate. There’s a scene of foreplay between the protagonist – a man living in an abandoned building on a discarded mattress – and a waitress. The air is full of smoke and they’ve both got masks on. Every time they remove the masks to kiss, they start coughing. After several agonizing minutes of attempts and half kisses in between loud coughs – they give up. Some people found it amusing, though.

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1 Comment

  1. Every time they remove the masks to kiss, they start coughing. After several agonizing minutes of attempts and half kisses in between loud coughs – they give up.

    This reminds me of a 1970s cult porn film called Cafe Flesh, which was set in a dystopian future where 95 per cent of the population couldn’t have sex – because they would fall violently ill if they tried. Result: the remaining 5 per cent are forced to perform at special sex clubs for the majority, and the whole thing becomes an exercise in the working out of repressed feelings.

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