I Don't Want to Sleep Alone

Director: Tsai Ming-Liang
Year Released: 2006
Rating: 3.5

A continuation of Tsai's common themes of alienation and loneliness has alter-ego Lee Kang-sheng playing the dual role of an invalid and of a wounded man - the invalid is unable to do much but blink, while the wounded man is nursed to health by a stranger. More somber than the (relatively) unrestrained The Wayward Cloud, this is basically an investigation into the burdens of dependency and the need for human contact - the love scene that's interrupted by the debilitating smog is particularly memorable, as neither Lee Kang-sheng nor his female companion can keep their lips pressed together for a decent period of time without coughing due to the pollutants in the air. Both romantic and a little morose, it concludes on a note that can either be interpreted as hopeful or without hope: can we ever free ourselves from the need for others? Or is that connection something that should be embraced rather than consciously rejected?