603 East Liberty Street
Director Hou Hsiao-hsien; 2001; 35mm; 105 minutes
Mandarin with English subtitles
A dazzling, small-scale sketch that arguably takes Hou’s and cinematographer Mark Lee Ping-Bin’s established minimalism to a new peak of sensual indulgence. Immersed largely within the dim glow of Taipei nightlife and featuring a sobering late-stage shift to a snowy Japanese countryside, Millennium Mambo takes on the form of a series of imperfectly recalled memories of ten years by a drifting young woman reflecting on her failed relationships with go-nowhere men. The collaboration on this film came a year after Ping-Bin’s work on In the Mood for Love and shares that film’s pervasive sense of metropolitan melancholy and romantic disaffection.