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River [DVD] [1998] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

Tien Miao , Kang-sheng Lee , Ming-liang Tsai    DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: £75.95
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Region 1 encoding (requires a North American or multi-region DVD player and NTSC compatible TV. More about DVD formats.)

Note: you may purchase only one copy of this product. New Region 1 DVDs are dispatched from the USA or Canada and you may be required to pay import duties and taxes on them (click here for details). Please expect a delivery time of 5-7 days.

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Product details

  • Actors: Tien Miao, Kang-sheng Lee, Yi-Ching Lu, Ann Hui, Shiang-chyi Chen
  • Directors: Ming-liang Tsai
  • Format: Colour, DVD-Video, Letterboxed, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: Mandarin Chinese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Fox Lorber
  • DVD Release Date: 4 Feb 2003
  • Run Time: 115 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • ASIN: B00007KK1K
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 129,477 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars rare and remarkable 15 Jan 2005
By A Customer
I saw this amazing film at the London Film Festival years ago but it has stayed with me clearly. Film starts with a pace that forces the viewer to slow down (I thought first I would fall a sleep!) before it grips you and takes you on a tabu-breaking voyage. The meditative pace is deceptive - the film has quirky sense of humor and is relentlesly modern in its themes.
It tells about a young man, and his dysfunctional family that is pulled uncomfortably together after he develops a neck problem, having fallen into the river of the title. Polluted river symbolises the murky undercurrents of the family relations and is a catalyst for the events that shake their - and the viewer's - understanding of life.
This is not a film for those with a conservative mindset as the film can alienate or offend, but those who feel they have seen most stories thousands of times, and can predict resolutions a mile off, this film will lead to uncharted waters. It completely stunned me - in the most quiet and reflective way possible.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.8 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars don't pay attention to most of these other reviews 8 Aug 2004
By K. Kaiser - Published on
It seems like most everyone else reviewing this film missed the point entirely. If the film seems dead like the dummy, then why do you think the dummy was in the film in the first place? The characters are emotionally dead, floating down the river (of life?) like the dummy. Everything means something. Tsai Ming-Liang is not interested in how crazy he can make the camera move. He is one of the few directors I have seen whose films are a reaction AGAINST action, and by action I mean the Tarantino/Rodriguez-style. Which is not to say I don't admire those directors. Ming-Liang's films just hold so much SUBTLETY. The long shots and little camera movement force the viewer not to merely watch but to participate. Why is the camera set up this way? What am I watching? Why am I watching it? In other words, he forces the viewer to make the associations normally presented surface-level to the viewer of most other films. Apparently Wong Kar-Wai is supposed to be the new Godard. But Godard was always more into filming "essays" and filming in such a way that was supposedly not "allowed." So I believe Ming-Liang's films are much closer to Godard's style in that they are reactions against the current norm. He is the son of Ozu and Antonioni, with a complete aesthetic, technical, and emotional motivation behind his style. Ming-Liang is one of the most slept on directors working today. If you have a true love for cinema, not just Kevin Smith, Tarantino, and David Lynch, if you can appreciate a thin line between comedy and drama, if you can allow yourself to be sculpted into a new form of viewing cinema, just as the directors of the Nouvelle Vague once did, then... you get the idea.
16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars duh...the reviewer apes the film unintentionally 5 July 2003
By A Customer - Published on
it's amazing to me how you can summarize this film so matter of factly and made it through it, but can't realize that your emotional response to it was forecoded by the director. do you think he really wanted you to be mesmerized in the western-commodity-entertainment sense of a viewing experience? to fully appreciate tsai's masterpiece, we have to develop a new viewing strategy descendant from antonioni, ozu, etc. if you need a unifying thread to titillate your sense of linear narrative continuity, try the ubiquity of water in its myriad forms and how that relates to the despair and utter alienation of the characters both constricted by a colonized city that has grown too fast to maintain and the tyranny of the oedipal family scenario as it is linked to the very same capitalistic regime. it is a profound meditation on what happens to the spirit in this highly specific and contextualized allegory shot through with mise-en-scene punning and starkly lyrical use of a poetics of absence. try to get on an equation with the artist not just foist your own expectations on the work and then its secrets will flourish.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful film by a brilliant filmmaker 2 May 2005
By kinojay33 - Published on
Highly recommended if you are a fan of Antonioni, Tarkovsky, Tarr or other filmmakers who utilize time (especially slow pacing) and landscape to help develop the internal states of their characters. Tsai's films are very meditative and contemplative; they help you to understand a character by observing their daily routine and most intimate moments played out in full. His works are challenging, but well worth the effort.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You Won't Forget It 18 Jan 2005
By R. Howard Courtney - Published on
This movie is not what we Westerners are accustomed to in movies, therefore we tend to dismiss it. We like all emotions openly displayed. lots of dialogue and the plot must be resolved.

You will find none of this in this movie, but it is certainly worth viewing and once you understand the reason for the lack of interaction between characters, it does make sense.

Another aspect that makes the movie difficult is the long scenes when nothing is happening on the screen. That was the director's approach.

The family is totally disfunctional as a unit. The parents never speak to each other, they all eat alone, and they function in their own little worlds with virtually no emotion.

Even sex is random with no emotions attached.

After the encounter between the son and the father, no one speaks of it and life continues on as before. There is no resolution to anything. That is the horror of the whole movie.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dead in the water . . . 26 April 2006
By Ronald Scheer - Published on
This downbeat film about a family in Taipei is open to many interpretations, which will make it intriguing for viewers who like movies that make them wonder about what they are watching. There is something of a storyline in this film - a young man falls mysteriously ill and his parents attempt to find a cure for him - but its chief purpose seems to be little more than the thread on which each scene is strung together. Not that there's anything wrong with that . . .

What we see is three people living in the same small apartment who are almost completely estranged from each other, rarely speaking, deeply bored and reaching out for human contact through occasional moments of illicit and unsatisfying encounters. The absence of familial affection and the emptiness of its substitutes are brought together in a final ironic incident between father and son.

Water, the bringer of life and purification, is instead a menacing presence in the film - from a polluted river to a leaky ceiling that seems unrepairable. Winner of many awards when it was released, the film is a troubling portrayal of modern urban life. While its long, slow scenes require some patience from the viewer, there is much to ponder as the closing credits begin to crawl - and for hours afterward.
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