Within the contemporary discourse on slow cinema and independent arthouse filmmaking, emerges the figure of Malaysian-born, Taiwan-based director Tsai Ming-liang. His works, situated at a crossing between different forms of expression—film and installation, narrative film and ethnography—have often been deemed tiresome, boring. The following article explores where and how boredom may be identified in his films, and questions whether the languid feeling can be considered an aesthetic achievement. In particular, the article offers close textual analysis of I Don't Want to Sleep Alone (2006) and Days (2020). Leveraging on the personal quality of felt duration, these films attune the viewer to the possibility of wonder and encourage considerations of the embodied representation of profound emotions such as solitude, alienation, and melancholy.
Giulia Tronconi is an Italian postgraduate from the University of Oxford, where she was awarded a master of studies in Film Aesthetics with distinction. She also holds a bachelor of arts from the University of Warwick. Her research interests comprehend the international film festival circuit, contemporary arthouse cinema, and philosophy of aesthetics. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3039-0690.