The River (He liu)
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The River (He liu)
Xiao-Kang, a young man who lives a dismal life with his parents in their small Taipei apartment, develops a terrible pain in his neck which no doctor, nor cure can seem to relieve. His mother is having an affair with a man who pirates pornographic videotapes, while his father is pursuing a solitary quest for pleasure in the city's gay bathhouses. Somehow, Xiao-Kang's pain seems to reflect the problems of each of his parents, and the solutions to each seem connected also, in a way that is not rationally explicable.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 70%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The River is difficult and unpleasant at times, but as a somber metaphor for contaminated lives, it's masterful."
‑ Scott Tobias, AV Club
"A brilliant, multi-layered work by a true artist of the cinema."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"Tsai is so adept at pacing and mood, and so good at capturing a sense of yearning, that his film draws us in despite its unusually long takes and sparse cutting."
‑ Edward Guthmann, San Francisco Chronicle
"Too murky and long to swim in."
‑ Rod Armstrong,
"The result is a stunning surreal film that remains unexplored in all the mysteries it holds, just like the river that flows in the city."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"a painfully incisive portrait of the contemporary human condition"
‑ Arthur Lazere,
More reviews for The River (He liu) on Rotten Tomatoes