Tsai Ming-liang drama 'Days' selected for New York Film Festival

08/15/2020 02:38 PM
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Director Tsai Ming-liang (center). Photo courtesy of Home Green Films Co.
Director Tsai Ming-liang (center). Photo courtesy of Home Green Films Co.

New York, Aug. 14 (CNA) "Days," a new film by Taiwan-based Malaysian director Tsai Ming-liang (蔡明亮), has been selected for the main lineup of the upcoming New York Film Festival (NYFF), according to the festival's organizers.

The NYFF, which runs from Sept. 17 to Oct. 11 this year, released a statement on Thursday announcing its "main slate" of 25 feature films from a total of 19 different countries.

According to an introduction on NYFF's website, "Days" follows the daily routines of two solitary men -- the director's longtime muse Lee Kang-sheng (李康生) and Non (Anong Houngheuangsy), a young Laotian immigrant in Thailand -- whose lives come together in a brief romantic encounter.

The film ranks among "the most cathartic" of Tsai's works, and is "constructed with the director's customary brilliance at visual composition and shot through with profound empathy," the festival said.

"Days" premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival in February, where it received a Teddy Award, which honors films with an LGBT theme.

The film's American premiere, which Tsai had been scheduled to attend at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City in April, was ultimately canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In light of the pandemic, the festival's screenings will be held either in drive-in theaters or virtually this year, the statement said.

Trailer of "Days." From the Taipei Film Festival's YouTube channel

Following the NYFF's announcement on Thursday, Tsai wrote a Facebook post thanking the MoMA for allowing "Days" to be premiered elsewhere, adding that "each film has its own destiny."

The non-competitive New York Film Festival is held annually at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in Manhattan.

In addition to a "main slate" of 20-30 feature-length films, the festival includes separate sections for documentaries, experimental cinema and retrospectives.

"Days" will be the fifth film by Tsai to appear in the festival, following "Your Face" in 2018, "Stray Dogs" in 2013, "Goodbye, Dragon Inn" in 2003 and "What Time is it There?" in 2001.

(By Ozzy Yin and Matthew Mazzetta)

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