FIPRESCI Prize, Cannes; Golden Hugo, Chicago
Set just prior to the start of the 21st century, this vaguely futuristic story follows two residents of a quickly crumbling building who refuse to leave their homes in spite of a virus that has forced the evacuation of the area. As rain pours down relentlessly, a single man is stuck with an unfinished plumbing job and a hole in his floor. This results in a very odd relationship with the woman who lives below him. Combining deadpan humor with an austere view of loneliness and a couple of unexpected musical numbers, Tsai Ming-Liang crafted one of the most original films of the 1990s.
"‘The Hole,’ for all its sorrowful prescience, does not traffic in the customary pandemic-thriller idiom of paranoia and alarm...A genius of deadpan comedy as well as a poet of urban anomie, Tsai fills his meticulously composed frames with revealing details that often double as sight gags...funny, melancholy and finally entrancing" - Justin Chang, The Los Angeles Times
"‘The Hole’ proves to be an eerily prophetic and timely movie, perhaps better now than it ever was...**** (4/4 stars)"
- Jeffrey Anderson, San Francisco Examiner