IFFR KINO #16: Millennium Mambo
The second season of IFFR KINO closes on Wednesday, 6 June, with Hou Hsiao-hsien’s trance-like MillenniumMambo: a film about footloose Vicky, who aimlessly roams the neon-lit nightlife of Taipei in 2001.
Millennium Mambo marks Hou Hsiao-hsien’s first collaboration with actress and muse Shu Qi, who would appear in four of Hou’s later films. Qi plays Vicky, a young woman from Keelung who comes to Taipei in 2001, works in a bar and soon finds herself shacked up with HaoHao, a guy on the fringes of the rave scene whose fanatical jealousy drives her crazy.
Vicky herself narrates the story, but from a point ten years in the future and in the third person, no longer the naive and directionless woman she was in 2001, but you can hear the nostalgia in her voice for the time when anything seemed possible. The double perspective on her life exactly mirrors Hou's own ambivalent feelings about these characters, half appalled, half bemused and fascinated.
Hou Hsiao-hsien, Taiwan/France, 2001, 105’