Goodbye Dragon Inn
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In a cavernous movie palace, King Hu's classic 1968 film Dragon Inn plays for a sparse crowd. As the movie progresses, the ticket-taker makes dinner, cleans the bathroom, and checks in on the projectionist. Audience members wander in and out, occasionally interacting in the restroom or the vast hallways that surround the theater proper. Minimally plotted, Tsai Ming-Liang's film is a poetic, dryly humorous portrait of a place and its denizens, and an homage to a director who influenced his career.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"This elegiac 2003 comedy, by the Taiwanese director Tsai Ming-liang, is a requiem for a movie theatre."
‑ Richard Brody, New Yorker
"This is one of the most gorgeous and maturely composed movies you'll see this year."
‑ Wesley Morris, Boston Globe
"What's the matter with these people? Why are they such a bunch of zombies?"
‑ Kelly Vance, East Bay Express
"It's not a sentimental ode to the cinema like "Cinema Paradiso." It's more like "Cinema Purgatorio.""
‑ Rob Thomas, Capital Times (Madison, WI)
"Hypnotic in effect but ultimately rather irritating, Goodbye, Dragon Inn will entice those viewers who like oblique, allusive cinema."
‑ Shlomo Schwartzberg, Boxoffice Magazine
"A weird, funny, melancholy tribute to movies and movie-going, an opus for film geeks that rang my personal bell."
‑ Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune
"Tsai is hugely popular with film critics, I believe, in part because film critics actually have something to do while watching his films. While the girl is limping down the hallway, we can take notes. Regular theatergoers? They can only watch helplessly."
‑ Erik Lundegaard, Seattle Times
"Long, boring shots. Reallllly long boring shots. Woman walks up stairs, woman walks down stairs. The end. Bleh."
‑ Jason Gorber, Film Scouts
"A marvelously subtle variation on the theme of the haunted house."
‑ James Verniere, Boston Herald
"Tsai Ming-Ling's bitter-sweet Goodbye Dragon Inn isn't easy to categorise: an exercise in cinematic minimalism, it's a ghost story, a deadpan comedy, and a lament for an earlier era of film-going."
‑ Tom Dawson,
"Idiosyncratic, oddball movie that is both funny and moody."
‑ G. Allen Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle
"The real star of the movie is the doomed movie house itself, and the dominant subtext is the emotional transaction between the viewer and his (or her) more vividly vicarious adventures projected on-screen."
‑ Andrew Sarris, New York Observer
"Plays as a meditation on the deep feelings felt by the viewer and the filmmaker towards the movie experience."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"... at once an elegy for the communal experience of cinema-going and another quintessentially Tsai portrait of loneliness and isolation."
‑ Sean Axmaker, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
"a solitary experience"
‑ Don Willmott,
More reviews for Goodbye Dragon Inn on Rotten Tomatoes