(aka "The Wayward Cloud' or 'Tian bian yi duo yun" )

 

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/tsai.htm
Taiwan / Hong Kong 2005

 

The most audacious film to date from visionary director Tsai Ming-liang, this completes a linear trilogy comprised of the earlier feature "What Time is it There?" and the short film, "The Skywalk Has Gone. "

Hsiao-Kang (Tsai muse Lee Kang-sheng) plays the same alienated youth who once worked as a street vendor selling watches, and whose brief encounter with Shiang-chyi (played by Chen Shiang-chyi) provided the emotional spark that fueled the earlier films. Once again these two lost clouds cross pathes--Hsiao-Kang is now working as an actor in low budget porno-films, and in the apartment below is Shiang-chyi, who spends most of her time going around hording bottles of water to cope with the severe drought that is sweeping the country. In the face of the water shortage, the government is recommending that people rely on watermelons as an alternative form of hydration. This fruit sets a profoundly symbolic tone that carries on throughout the entirety of this perverse and shocking masterpiece.

As in his earlier film "The Hole," Tsai intercuts extravagant musical numbers amidst the bleak narrative, almost a means for the characters to express their innermost feelings. These sequences counterpoint the frank sexuality of the film, which is raw to say the least. The sharp level of absurdity to the graphic nature of these images goes a long way towards keeping the film from bogging down under the weight of the serious issues regarding sex, bodies, and the human condition that Tsai is so deeply exploring here. Like no other filmmaker working today, his static camera speaks wonders to the isolation and existential crisis that these characters feel. There is an ongoing motif of intersecting corridors and hallways--like the skywalk that once was--these are modern rivers destined to bring people together, but which always fail to unite us. Tsai’s characters are like clouds drifting aimlessly through life, and the film’s ending which can be read as what happens when two clouds happen to unite, is about as achingly beautiful and as wholly disturbing, as anything I have ever seen. out of

Adam Lemke

Poster

Theatrical Release: February 16th, 2005 at the Berlin Film Festival

Reviews    More Reviews  DVD Reviews

DVD Comparison: 

Axiom Films - Region 0 - PAL vs. DeltaMac (2 Disc Taiwanese DVD) - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Strand Releasing - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Adam for the Review and DeltaMac caps!

(Axiom Films - Region 0 - PAL LEFT vs. DeltaMac (2 Disc Taiwanese DVD) - Region 0 - NTSC MIDDLE vs. Strand Releasing - Region 0 - NTSC RIGHT)

DVD Box Cover

Thinking of buying from YesAsia? CLICK HERE and use THIS UPDATED BEAVER PAGE to source their very best... 

Distribution

Axion Films

Region 0 - PAL

DeltaMac

Region 0 - NTSC

Strand Releasing

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1.49.00 (4% PAL speedup) 1.53.29 1.49.08
Video

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.25 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.86 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

Audio Mandarin 2.0 Mandarin 2.0 & Mandarin 5.1 Mandarin 2.0
Subtitles English, none Chinese, English, None English (burned-in)
Features Release Information:
Studio: Axiom Films

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• Interview with Tsai by Tony Rayns (37:36)

• Still Gallery

DVD Release Date: February 11th, 2008
Green Keep Case

Chapters 12

 

Release Information:
Studio: DeltaMac

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• 2 Disc Edition
• Behind the scenes feature (no Eng. subs)
• Q&A w/ Tsai Ming-liang (no Eng. subs)
• slide show
• deleted scene
• Multi-media booklet (w/ Eng. language option)

DVD Release Date: 6/25/05
Keep Case, Clear w/ cardboard slipcover

Chapters 12

Release Information:
Studio: Strand Releasing

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• trailer

DVD Release Date: June 10th, 2008
Keep Case

Chapters 12

 

Comments ADDITION: Axiom Films - Region 0 - PAL - June 08': Big thanks to some members of the Criterion Forum for assuaging my ambivalence and steering me towards this dual-layered Axiom edition as it is by far the superior release. It also indicates that the Strand is from an unconverted PAL source. The Axiom easily bests the other two DVD transfers and has a wonderful 37 minute interview (with subtitles) of Tony Rayns on director Ming-liang Tsai. He covers various topics and makes this Axiom edition the one DVD package to own  for this delightfully quirky film. Recommended!


ADDITION: Strand Releasing - Region 0 - NTSC June 08': Well, I've all but given up on Strand - knowing their releases are almost certainly interlaced but the DeltaMac had some serious compression issues so I thought it might be worth comparing.

I'm concerned about the length of the Strand - it's 4:21 seconds shorter and one could bet it's probably censored although I couldn't tell you which parts. The Strand still seems to represent most of the more X-rated sequences that I could remember. I initially thought it might be that the Strand is taken from a PAL source as the difference in times is about 4%, but it doesn't look that way - no prominent ghosting as a telltale. 

No surprise the Strand is interlaced again and has burned-in subtitles. It is anamorphic and on a dual-layered disc - the latter attribute seems to vault it ahead as it has far less artifacts than its Taiwanese counterpart. It turns out to be a fairly significant difference. The DeltaMac also appears to have some black-level boosting and is quite dark. Anyway, even though the Strand is non-progressive and has the non-removable subs I leans towards that for brighter, smoother image.

The rest however is all DeltaMac - a boosted 5.1 track as an option with the 2.0 channel shared by the Strand. Extras on the Asian disc are discussed below by Adam (none but a trailer on the North American edition).

It may be a moot point as it looks like the DeltaMac is out of print. The film is a real hoot and I suggest watching it when you have the chance. The Strand is not only option as Axiom Films International in the UK released an edition of The Wayward Cloud a few months back HERE - (covered above). 

Gary Tooze

***

The Image: The anamorphic image is so-so. This is obviously not HD
sourced so there is combing evident in many of the dance sequences. On top of this, there are a couple of instances where the compression on this DVD-5 gets the better of the image, resulting in some pixilation on some of deep-focus shots. This release however, is better than any of the Region 1 releases of Tsai’s films, which are hazy and washed out looking.



 

The Audio: This is the best sounding Tsai DVD yet, which is entirely
appropriate as he uses sound in this film for tremendous effect (much like he used silence his previous work). The surround sound is crisp and lifelike, and added a whole new element to my home viewing of this movie.

The Extras: There is an entire bonus disc of extras featuring an hour long making-of documentary, and three separate Q&A’s with Tsai (totaling an hour in length) but unfortunately none of this is subtitled in English. There is also an interesting multi-media booklet (that DOES feature an English language option) wherein Tsai discusses the themes of the film and the lyrics of the music. As an added bonus, the DVD includes a coupon for www.happyhair.com.tw -- the significance of which has eluded me entirely.

Overall rating:
 out of    

 - Adam Lemke

 



DVD Menus

Axiom Films - Region 0 - PAL

 

 

(DeltaMac (2 Disc Taiwanese DVD) - Region 0 - NTSC LEFT vs. Strand Releasing - Region 0 - NTSC RIGHT)
 

 

 

 


Screen Captures

 

1) Axiom Films - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) DeltaMac (2 Disc Taiwanese DVD) - Region 0 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Strand Releasing - Region 0 - NTSC BOTTOM


Subtitle Sample

 

 


 

1) Axiom Films - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) DeltaMac (2 Disc Taiwanese DVD) - Region 0 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Strand Releasing - Region 0 - NTSC BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Axiom Films - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) DeltaMac (2 Disc Taiwanese DVD) - Region 0 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Strand Releasing - Region 0 - NTSC BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Axiom Films - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) DeltaMac (2 Disc Taiwanese DVD) - Region 0 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Strand Releasing - Region 0 - NTSC BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Axiom Films - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) DeltaMac (2 Disc Taiwanese DVD) - Region 0 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Strand Releasing - Region 0 - NTSC BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Axiom Films - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) DeltaMac (2 Disc Taiwanese DVD) - Region 0 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Strand Releasing - Region 0 - NTSC BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Axiom Films - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) DeltaMac (2 Disc Taiwanese DVD) - Region 0 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Strand Releasing - Region 0 - NTSC BOTTOM

 

 

 


Report Card:

 

Image:

Axiom

Sound:

DeltaMac

Extras: Axiom
Menu: Axiom

DVD Box Cover

Thinking of buying from YesAsia? CLICK HERE and use THIS UPDATED BEAVER PAGE to source their very best... 

Distribution

Axion Films

Region 0 - PAL

DeltaMac

Region 0 - NTSC

Strand Releasing

Region 0 - NTSC


 




 

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Gary Tooze

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