Millennium Mambo (Hou Hsiao-hsien, 2001)

Eileen Cheng-yin Chow

Location: Rubenstein Arts Center Film Theater

Millennium Mambo
(Hou Hsiao-hsien, 2001, 106 min, Taiwan, Mandarin with English subtitles, DCP)

New 4K Restoration!

-- Introduced by Prof. Eileen Cheng-yin Chow (Asian & Middle Eastern Studies)

A stylish and seductive submersion into the techno-scored neon nightlife of Taipei, Hou’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.

“Sordid yet transcendent, bathed in neon haze and set to a relentless techno-beat, Hou Hsiao-hsien’s Millennium Mambo is not only the most pop movie the great Taiwanese filmmaker has ever made but among the most astonishingly beautiful.” – J. Hoberman, New York Times

“A slow burn of profound sadness salved by some of Hou's most breath-catchingly beautiful passages to date.” – Dennis Lim, Village Voice

"A work of uncommon emotional density." – G. Allen Johnson, S.F. Chronicle

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Screen/Society screenings are free and open to the public.

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Still from Millennium Mambo

Contact: Hank Okazaki


Sponsor: Duke Cinematic Arts

Co-Sponsors: Asian/Pacific Studies Institute