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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r


(aka 'Dong" or The Hole')
Taiwan 1998


Commissioned as part of the 2000 Seen By… millennium project, The Hole, Tsai Ming-Liang’s 1998 feature, takes place at the turn of the millennium amid the pandemonium of a mysterious, rapidly spreading virus that’s confounding the health community. Declaring a state of emergency, officials have ordered residents to evacuate the afflicted area, and have warned that services such as water will be shut off soon. The widespread exodus has left the city nearly deserted.

The action largely takes place in an apartment building where a woman, played by Yang Kuei-Mei, is besieged by severe plumbing issues apparently originating from the apartment of the man, played by Lee Kang-Sheng, above her. The plumber she’s enlisted visits the man upstairs to track down the leak. The job is never completed and a gaping hole is left in her ceiling, exposing the personal spaces of the as-yet-unacquainted neighbors.

In a conventional romance, this would be the happy accident that unites, by way of the persistent pressure of proximity, the incompatible couple by fateful convenience through a series of comic incidents. In the world of Tsai Ming-Liang, however, we get a dramatic departure from convention and insistent genre, and at the same time, a continuation of his exploration of societal dysfunction and the loneliness that arises from the ensuing alienation.

Excerpt from Fred Patton's article on DVDBeaver located HERE

Posters etc.

Theatrical Release: May 1998 - Cannes Film Festival

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DVD Review:  Fox / Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC

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Distribution Fox / Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC
Runtime 1:28:57 
Video 1.80:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.10 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio Mandarin, Taiwanese (Dolby Digital 2.0) 
Subtitles English, None

Release Information:
Studio: Fox / Lorber

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.80:1

Edition Details:

• Filmographies (text)
• DVD Newsletter
• Production Notes (text)

DVD Release Date: November 7th, 2000

Keep Case
Chapters: 16





Although this does not look 'terrible', it is non-anamorphic and non-progressive and has combing in all horizontal motion sequences (see captures below). Other than that it is a little soft, but the colors look good and there doesn't appear to be excessive manipulation. The 2.0 audio is fine and of limited usage in the film. Some text screen extras are better than nothing and are typical of Fox / Lorber's previous DVD production output. I actually think this may be an improvement with the awful yellow removable subtitles. I think there may be another DVD release out there of this film and I will seek it out for comparison.

I had forgotten how wonderful this film is. My 2nd favorite of Tsai's after Vive L'Amour. A real joy to behold. If I had to choose one image to represent as an anthem for DVDBeaver's existence it would be the last large capture of this review. We wish the image quality and package were better but we still strongly recommend the film.

Gary W. Tooze


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Subtitle Sample




Screen Captures









Bad combing in horizontal motion...







Recommended Reading in Chinese/Hong Kong/Taiwanese Cinema (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

Check out more in "The Library"


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Distribution Fox / Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC


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